Beaver Bridge (Arkansas)

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Beaver Bridge
Beaver Bridge facing north in Beaver, AR 001.jpg
Facing north, the bridge is decorated in red, white and blue bunting to celebrate Independence Day
Coordinates36°28′15″N 93°46′06″W / 36.4708°N 93.7683°W / 36.4708; -93.7683Coordinates: 36°28′15″N 93°46′06″W / 36.4708°N 93.7683°W / 36.4708; -93.7683
CarriesOne lane of AR 187, pedestrians and bicycles
CrossesTable Rock Lake (an impoundment of the White River)
LocaleBeaver, Carroll County, Arkansas
Maintained byArkansas State Highway and Transportation Department (AHTD)
MaterialSteel with timber decking
Total length554.2 ft (168.9202 m)
Width11.2 ft (3.414 m) (roadway)
12.1 ft (3.688 m) (deck)
Height746 ft (227.4 m)
Longest span312.0 ft (95.0976 m)
Clearance above13.8 ft (4.206 m)
Construction startDecember 19, 1947 (December 19, 1947)
Construction end1949 (1949)
Opened1949; 70 years ago (1949)
Daily traffic650[1]
DesignatedApril 9, 1990[2]
Reference no.90000730

The Beaver Bridge in Beaver, Arkansas is a historic one-lane suspension bridge carrying Arkansas Highway 187 over the White River at Table Rock Lake. Built in 1949 by the Pioneer Construction Company, the structure is the only suspension bridge open to traffic in Arkansas. The Beaver Bridge was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1990.[2]


Close up on north tower

The bridge was bid on December 19, 1947 to Pioneer Construction Company of Malvern, Arkansas. The construction foreman who led the project was M.R. Blair (1914-2014), who later served as lead foreman on numerous bridge and highway projects across Arkansas, Missouri and Tennessee, and who led the construction of numerous dams, highways and bridges throughout the southwestern United States, including the 1964 Big I interchange of Interstates 25 and 40 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Remarkably, Mr. Blair and his team completed the project without the benefit of an industrial crane, using only a pickup-mounted, knuckle-boom type crane.

Since the construction was coincident with the building of Table Rock Dam, completion was delayed until 1949 as the United States Army Corps of Engineers required the bridge to be raised 40 feet (12 m). Upon completion, the bridge remained a vital link for the citizens of Beaver until its closure for major deck rehabilitation in 1981. Further rehabilitation occurred in 2003.[3] The bridge has a 10-ton weight limit. The bridge was temporarily closed for inspection in October 2018 after two overweight buses crossed it.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Planning and Research Division (2012). "Arkansas Road Log Database". Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department. Archived from the original (MDB) on June 23, 2011. Retrieved May 3, 2013.
  2. ^ a b National Park Service (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
  3. ^ Michael, Swanda (August 16, 1988). "HAER AR 53: Beaver Suspension Bridge". Historic American Engineering Record. Retrieved June 29, 2013.
  4. ^ "Beaver Bridge reopened after video shows it sag beneath bus". KTHV-TV. October 17, 2018. Retrieved October 27, 2018.