Abandoned Fivemile Creek Bridge

Abandoned Brick and Stone Arch Bridge over Fivemile Creek
Leavenworth, Leavenworth County, Kansas

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Name Abandoned Fivemile Creek Bridge
Built By Leavenworth, Northern and Southern Railway
Contractor Unknown
Currently Owned By City of Leavenworth
Length 70 Feet Total, 35 Foot Spans
Width 1 Track
Height Above Ground 10 Feet Estimated
Superstructure Type Brick Lined Stone Arch
Substructure Type Stone Masonry
Date Built 1899
Traffic Count 0 Trains/Day (Bridge is Abandoned)
Current Status Abandoned
ATSF Bridge Number 14.22
Significance Moderate Significance
Documentation Date September 2016
In 1886, the Leavenworth, Northern and Southern Railway began construction of a line from Hawthorne, Kansas to Wilder, Kansas. This 45 mile line also went through the towns of Bonner Springs and Leavenworth.
It would be completed in late 1887, and included a large bridge across the Kansas River at Bonner Springs.

This line would be leased to the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad; and would be merged into the successor: the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway by 1899.

This line served as a branch line, connecting a mainline along the Kansas River at Wilder to a branch line at Hawthorne. As a result, the ATSF abandoned the first segment in 1960 between Leavenworth and Hawthorne.
By 1989, the ATSF was desperately trying to remove excess lines. This line was deemed as excess; and subsequently abandoned between Bonner Springs and Leavenworth.
The Wilder-Bonner Springs portion was sold to the city of Bonner Springs. This segment included the large bridge over the Kansas River.

Unfortunately. the city decided to remove the bridge across the Kansas River. Today, a small segment at Bonner Springs still exists and is operated by Union Pacific Railroad.

This beautiful brick and stone arch crosses Fivemile Creek near Limit Street in Leavenworth.
The bridge is constructed of a two span stone arch. These arches are lined with a red brick, which adds support and strength to the arch.
Built in 1899, the arch was constructed during an period of extensive rebuilding of trestles with arches along the Santa Fe system. The craftsmanship shown in the construction is found on several similar structures throughout Kansas.
The arch remains in great condition. A nearby slab bridge, which crossed Limit Street was removed in 2014; when the road was relocated. This allowed for easier access to the historic arch structure seen here.

The author has ranked this bridge as being moderately significant, due to the uncommon design and great historic integrity which the bridge retains.
This structure has a twin, which crosses Ninemile Creek to the south. There may be other similar structures along the line.
The photo above is an overview.


Source Type


Build Date Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway 1984 Bridge Records
Railroad Line History Source ICC Valuation Information, Compiled by Richard S. Steele

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