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McNeely Creek Bridge

The McNeely Creek Bridge is a single Warren pony-truss bridge near the community of Beirne (Clark County). Constructed in 1923, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places on May 26, 2004.

Beirne is an unincorporated community founded in 1880 along the Cairo and Fulton Railroad. Settlement of southern Clark County progressed slowly before the establishment of the railroad, with few roads connecting the area with Arkadelphia (Clark County) or other communities. With an economy based on timber, the community grew as it became one of the best shipping locations for raw timber in southwestern Arkansas. The community was linked by road to nearby Gurdon (Clark County), about four miles to the northeast, likely shortly after construction of the nearby railroad. The road on which the bridge is located likely served as a major transportation route in the area until it was replaced with nearby U.S. Highway 67, located north of Beirne, by 1931.

The bridge was constructed in 1923, although the builder is unknown. It is likely that the bridge replaced an earlier structure as the traffic along the road increased and transitioned to heavier automobiles. The road on which it is located is a mixture of gravel and asphalt and runs parallel to the railroad.

The bridge consists of a single Warren pony truss and carries a single lane of traffic. The truss span is seventy-one feet long, with the deck extending an additional foot at each end for a total length of seventy-three feet. The structure is eighteen feet wide, and the deck width is fourteen feet. The bridge is attached to the road with concrete, and the deck consists of wood planks over a steel frame. Located on County Road 12, also known as the Gurdon Road, the bridge is on the western edge of Beirne. The bridge received some rehabilitation work in 1990.

The bridge is in a rural area and continues to serve local traffic in the twenty-first century.

For additional information:
“McNeely Creek Bridge.” Bridgehunter.com https://bridgehunter.com/ar/clark/mcneely-creek/ (accessed June 11, 2018).

“McNeely Creek Bridge.” National Register for Historic Places registration form. On file at Arkansas Historic Preservation Office, Little Rock, Arkansas. Online at http://www.arkansaspreservation.com/National-Register-Listings/PDF/CL0957.nr.pdf (accessed June 11, 2018).

David Sesser
Henderson State University

Last Updated 6/11/2018

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