DEXTER, Kan. — Kansas floodwaters have destroyed an historic stone bridge in Cowley County.
Flooding over the weekend caused the 105-year-old Fox Bridge over Grouse Creek to collapse, the Wichita Eagle (http://bit.ly/2dMPxJb ) reported.
The county said on its Facebook page that the bridge was weakened by the creek’s cresting over it and heavy currents slamming against it.
The area is known for its stone bridges, which were built by Russian and German artisans from around 1890 to 1917. The bridges range from one to three arches.
“There are only 1,700 stone arch bridges remaining in the United States, with more than 18 historical bridges across Cowley County,” the county’s website said, including the Fox Bridge before its collapse.
Steve Tredway, who is working on a book about the stone bridges of Cowley County, said the Fox Bridge was built by Abe Finney. It most likely is the only one he built, he said.
“We had about six inches of rain Friday night,” Tredway said. “It was a flash flood that took it out. The water ran completely over the bridge.”
Eric Schminke, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Wichita, said south-central Kansas has been overwhelmed with rainfall this year.
“We are quickly setting the pace for the second-wettest year on record,” Schminke said.
Two other stone arch bridges in Cowley County are closed because of floodwaters and will stay that way until road crews examine them.
Fox Bridge was not one of Cowley County’s four bridges listed on the national register.