County Engineer Clark Rusco is moving ahead with work on historic Barton County stone bridges, he reported recently.
In a report prepared for the Barton County Commission, the county engineer noted that design work on the restoration of the historic structures has begun.
Rusco reported his department “began the design phase for the Stone Bridges project. General requirements were developed and the consultant can begin the preparation of plans and specifications for the bridges.”
Rusco reported earlier, “the bridges, clustered in the Claflin area, require the repair of damaged stones, replacing failed or missing stones, resetting displaced stones and removing and replacing grout.”
There are eight of the bridges. The Works Project Administration bridges were constructed in the early 1940s and continue in use, though they have suffered from disrepair over the years.
Descriptions of some of the bridges, according to information from the state historical society, includes:
“Located on a rural county road, this double-arch limestone bridge spans Coal Creek. As noted on the decorative bridge keystones, the bridge was completed in 1941 as a Works Projects Administration (WPA) project. The locally quarried stone features a rusticated finish and retains its tool markings.
“This limestone bridge is located less than one-quarter mile from the Hitschmann Double Arch Bridge over Coal Creek on the same rural county road. It features a utilitarian appearance with locally quarried smooth-cut limestone blocks. The bridge was completed in 1941 as a WPA project.
“Located on a rural county road, this single-arch limestone bridge spans the headwaters of Beaver Creek. The decorative keystone notes the bridge’s 1941 construction date. The locally quarried stone features a rusticated finish and retains its tool markings.”