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Geary County
2018 to 2020
Project Type:
Bridge Replacement

Project Case

Historic Ascher Road Bridge Design

The Kansas Historical Society preserves historically significant structures on the National Register of Historic Places in Kansas.

The Ascher Road bridge in Geary County was on this register, but the Geary County Public Works Department was looking to replace it due to deterioration. Engineers working on this project met an extra challenge of having to file paperwork to demolish a historical bridge while designing the bridge that would go in its place.

The Challenge

Replacing a nationally recognized bridge

The almost 100-year-old historic bridge was used frequently by the agricultural community in Geary County. Engineers needed to justify demolishing it for a new bridge, which required cooperation with the Kansas Historical Society. They also needed to conduct surveying, design and geotechnical services for the project, which required coordination with the Kansas Department of Transportation.

The Process

The Plan

Funding was acquired for the bridge replacement through the federal Off-System Bridge program, and KDOT provided permitting and oversight on the project. Surveyors completed a topographical survey of the existing bridge and project area. Geotechnical engineers also performed testing of the land at the site. With this survey, engineers prepared designs for the replacement.


The Design

The nomination required engineers to design the new bridge on offset alignment so the road could be used while construction occurred, which is not common due to extra cost and time spent. The new bridge design is a single-span structure with  a U-type abutment. The bridge was designed about 50 feet north of the existing bridge, which then required the design to redirect the road to cross the new bridge.

The Application

While planning occurred, engineers had to justify demolishing the historic bridge. They then decided to nominate an identical rainbow arch bridge in Geary County to replace the Ascher Road bridge on the National Register of Historic Places. The process took over 50 hours, and the bridge was approved for design in 2019.


The Outcome

Design and nomination went unabridged

Despite challenges due to the lengthy nomination process for historical structures, civil design was completed and passed off to KDOT, where construction is expected to finish in 2021. A historic bridge is still recognized in Geary County, and a new bridge benefits agricultural workers. The historic nomination process was a learning experience, and we are happy everything worked out successfully.