U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590
North Loup Bridge
|County Road over the North Loup River
1.5 Miles Northeast of North Loup
Valley County, Nebraska
Total Length: 337 ft.
Roadway Width: 14.8 ft.
3-Span, Pratt Through Truss
TYPE: Pin-connected Pratt through truss
BUILT: 1912-13 by the Empire Bridge Company
In 1912 the Valley County supervisors contracted for a wagon bridge over the North Loup River near the town of North Loup. This was the second structure the county had built over the river, preceded only by the span at Ord, the county seat. Designed by the county engineer, the North Loup Bridge consisted of three 100-foot through trusses on steel cylinder piers, with a 40-foot pony truss approach span. A contract for its erection was awarded to the Empire Bridge Company of Omaha, which completed it the following June. The North Loup Bridge has carried traffic since with minimal maintenance, although since the routing of nearby State Highway 22 it has functioned on a county road.
Multiple-span pinned truss structures, most of which were comprised of medium-span Pratts, were once common in Nebraska. Almost all of these early bridges have since been replaced or substantially altered, however. The North Loup Bridge is distinguished as a well-preserved example of this now uncommon vehicular bridge configuration.