Little Missouri River Bridge

aka: Nachitoch Bluff Bridge

The Little Missouri River Bridge, also known as the Nachitoch Bluff Bridge, is a through-truss bridge located north of the Interstate 30 crossing of the Little Missouri River, connecting Clark and Nevada counties. Beirne (Clark County) and Gurdon (Clark County) are the two closest communities to the bridge. The bridge was added to the National Register of Historic Places on April 9, 1990, and is depicted on a mural in Prescott (Nevada County) at the intersection of Main and First streets. It closed to traffic in the mid-1990s.

Details about the construction of the bridge are scarce. Documentation suggests that it was constructed in 1908 by the Morava Construction Company. The main span of the bridge measures 185 feet and was constructed as a Camelback Pratt through truss. The secondary span measures 110 feet and is a Pratt through truss. At either end of the bridge, I-beam approach spans were built to connect the bridge with the road. The bridge is 315 feet long.

Both through trusses utilized a pin system to hold the beams together. A combination of channels, continuous plates, batten plates, and lacing bars was used for the top chord and the verticals. The bottom chord and some of the diagonals used rectangular bars. Most of the diagonals and the top and bottom lateral were constructed from round rod. The floor girders and stringers were constructed from steel I-beams. The roadway was constructed of planking. The bridge rests on steel-riveted cylinders filled with concrete.

The bridge was built to connect County Road 479 on the Clark County side with County Road 35 on the Nevada County side. It was rehabilitated in 1980 and was open to traffic until around 1996. After the closure of the bridge, it fell into disrepair and lost large sections of decking. The approach from the south also fell into extreme disrepair.

For additional information:
“Little Missouri River 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/CL0742.nr.pdf (accessed March 16, 2018).

“Nachitoch Bluff Bridge.” Bridge Hunter. https://bridgehunter.com/ar/clark/nachitoch/ (accessed March 16, 2018).

Richter, Wendy, et al. Clark County Arkansas: Past and Present. Arkadelphia, AR: Clark County Historical Association, 1992.

David Sesser
Henderson State University

Last Updated: 02/17/2020