One of the most commonly constructed bridge types in Kansas is the reinforced concrete haunched slab (RCSH) bridge. These bridges are versatile in span length and width, cost effective, and known to have a long service life. They can be designed as one- to six-span bridges, and may be able to accommodate more spans. In Kansas, the most common built bridge over streams and roadways is the three-span bridge, ranging from 80 to 180 feet total length. Each bridge site poses unique design challenges, but the haunched slab is easily adaptable.
The bridge carrying Bittersweet Road over Pony Creek in Brown County is located near the entrance to the Sycamore Springs Campgrounds. The creek is curved along the edge of the campgrounds, and erosion has created very steep banks. BG Consultants designed a three-span, 153’-6” RCSH bridge with a 45 degree skew over the creek. The skew allowed the bridge to be sloped and armored against future erosion. To merge with the asphalt roadway, a concrete approach pavement was added on the north end of the bridge. The south approach roadway remained gravel, but a pavement seat was also integrated onto the south bridge abutment as preparation for future paving possibilities.