Three Arches Bridge

Concrete Encased Stone Arch Bridge over Little Peno Creek
Near Frankford, Pike County, Missouri

Click the Photo Above to See All Photos of This Bridge!
Name Three Arches Bridge
Built By St. Louis & Hannibal Railroad
Contractor Unknown
Currently Owned By Pike County
Length 65 Feet Total, 20 Foot Main Spans
Width 1 Track, 1 Road Lane
Height Above Ground 10 Feet (Estimated)
Superstructure Type Concrete Encased Stone Arch
Substructure Type Stone Masonry
Date Built 1900
Traffic Count 0 Trains/Day (Bridge is a Road)
Current Status Rails to Road
Significance Moderate Significance
Documentation Date June 2016
In 1878, the St. Louis, Hannibal and Keokuk Railroad built a line extending from Gilmore, Missouri to Oakwood, Missouri. In 1886, the line would be reorganized as the St. Louis and Hannibal Railway.

During the 1870s, an extension from Oakwood to Hannibal, and a branch from New London to Perry, Missouri would both be surveyed.
These two extensions would finally be built in 1891 by the St. Louis, Hannibal and Kansas City Railway. They would be merged into the St. Louis and Hannibal Railway in 1893.

Despite connecting several small towns throughout the region, this is as much as the railroad would ever construct. In 1917, it was reorganized as the St. Louis and Hannibal Railroad.

The railroad was never profitable, and oftentimes found itself competing directly against paved roads, especially leading up to World War II.
The Great Depression was particularly hard on this railroad. To save the system, the southern end of the railroad would be abandoned in 1932. The entire portion from Bowling Green to Gilmore was abandoned in 1932.
One portion was saved, however. The segment between Troy and Moscow Mills was purchased by the St. Louis & Troy Railroad, and served until its abandonment in 1960.

The railroad saw a heavy demise in the World War II years. The Perry Branch would be abandoned in 1943 and the mainline would be abandoned the following year.

While not much is left of the railroad, the "Short Line" is still remembered for friendly serve and great management. One particular owner of interest was John Ringling, who also had circus assets at the time.

In 2017, little remains of the St. Louis & Hannibal. There are still some small pieces of infrastructure, such as bridges intact. However, little remains beyond this.

This historic stone arch bridge crosses little Peno Creek just south of Frankford.
It was built in 1900 by the railroad, and was likely rehabilitated after the Pike County made it a road after 1944. It was abandoned in 1944, and has served as Pike County 49 since.
This bridge is in a fair to poor condition for its age. It appears that the encasement actually damaged the structure, with the water now undercutting the poured concrete floor.
The author has ranked this bridge as being moderately significant, due to the historic nature of the bridge. The photo above is an overview. The author hopes to return to this location in the near future.


Source Type


Build Date Historic Articles
Railroad Line History Source ICC Valuation Information, Compiled by Richard S. Steele

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