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Fort Fletcher Stone Arch Bridge

Fort Fletcher Stone Arch BridgeIn the 1930s when Ellis County residents became concerned about crossing Big Creek, they petitioned their county commissioners for a new bridge. They had seen this Smoky Hill River tributary flood a number of times. Fort Fletcher had been located nearby but was closed in 1866; Fort Hays was established to the northwest on higher ground.

Located 4.8 miles south of Walker, the bridge was a joint project of Ellis County and the Works Progress Administration (WPA). Established in 1935 as part of the New Deal, the WPA put people to work on public projects. Local crews familiar with laying limestone were hired for the construction, stone was quarried from an adjacent pasture, and work began in 1935.

The four-arch bridge measures 156 feet in length and 29 feet wide. A plaque on the south end of the bridge marks the WPA project and honors the workers. One of 13 stone arch bridges in the county, it was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 2001.

Entry: Fort Fletcher Stone Arch Bridge

Author: Kansas Historical Society

Author information: The Kansas Historical Society is a state agency charged with actively safeguarding and sharing the state's history.

Date Created: April 2015

Date Modified: June 2016

The author of this article is solely responsible for its content.