Gill Bridge, Spanning Lick Creek at County Road 181, Perry, Ralls County, MO
Significance: Between the early 1880s, when trusses superseded bowstrings, and the 1920s, when riveted connections replaced pinned, the pin-connected Pratt truss was the metal structure of choice for medium- and long-span wagon bridges in Missouri. Virtually all of the major regional fabricators manufactured Pratt trusses and marketed them extensively to Missouri's counties. As a result, thousands of Pratt trusses were built across the state, and many remain in place today. With a fabrication date of 1909 and a span length of 95 feet, the Gill Bridge is neither the oldest nor the longest of these. Nevertheless, it is important for its illustration of two prevailing bridge trends - the construction of rural roadway bridges by county governments and the design and manufacture of pinned Pratt trusses in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The Gill Bridge is today distinguished among Missouri's pin-connected trusses as a well-documented and well-preserved example of what was once a mainstay structural type.
Survey number: HAER MO-94