You are here

Beaver Creek Bridge

-A A +A
1929, J. Harper Hamilton. SD 87 over Beaver Creek, 1.3 miles north of intersection with U.S. 385.

Beaver Creek Bridge is located within Wind Cave National Park, about 2.5 miles north of the visitors’ center. It is the state’s only surviving open-spandrel concrete bridge. This was one of a number of projects undertaken by U.S. Senator Peter Norbeck, who was instrumental in the establishment of Custer State Park in 1919. He felt that a bridge would make vehicular travel between Custer State Park and Wind Cave National Park easier for visitors, thus promoting tourism and the use of the scenic highways within the Black Hills.

Built of reinforced concrete, the bridge is 225 feet long, 20 feet wide, and sits 115 feet above Beaver Creek’s rugged ravine. Parallel arches carry the deck’s support struts and rest on heavy concrete piers designed to create the illusion that they rise naturally from the rock walls on opposite sides of the canyon. Approach spans are located at either end, and both are curved from the highway to the bridge deck, giving the bridge a gentle “S” shape. A concrete balustrade railing lines both sides of the deck. J. Harper Hamilton, an engineer with the South Dakota State Highway Commission, designed the structure, and Morris Adelstein, one of the state’s earliest registered civil engineers and owner of the Northwestern Engineering Company, served as construction engineer.

Beaver Creek Bridge remains open to vehicular traffic and is also visible from a pullout on State Highway 87, near the southern terminus of the 111-mile-long Centennial Trail through the Black Hills.

References

Karsmizki, Ken, “Beaver Creek Bridge,” Custer County, South Dakota. National Register of Historic Places Registration Form, 1995. National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, Washington, D.C.

Torma, Carolyn, “Beaver Creek Bridge,” Custer County, South Dakota. National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination Form, 1984. National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, Washington, D.C.

Writing Credits

Author: 
Michelle L. Dennis
×

Data

Timeline

  • 1929

    Built

What's Nearby

Citation

Michelle L. Dennis, "Beaver Creek Bridge", [Custer, South Dakota], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—, http://sah-archipedia.org/buildings/SD-01-033-0029.

If SAH Archipedia has been useful to you, please consider supporting it.

SAH Archipedia tells the story of the United States through its buildings, landscapes, and cities. This freely available resource empowers the public with authoritative knowledge that deepens their understanding and appreciation of the built environment. But the Society of Architectural Historians, which created SAH Archipedia with University of Virginia Press, needs your support to maintain the high-caliber research, writing, photography, cartography, editing, design, and programming that make SAH Archipedia a trusted online resource available to all who value the history of place, heritage tourism, and learning.

, ,