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Matthias, F. T. (ed.) / The Wisconsin engineer
Volume 33, Number VIII (May 1929)

Plotz, R. S.
Alumni notes,   pp. 288-289

Page 288

Volume 33, No. 8
Alumni Notes
             By R. S. PLOTZ, c'30
                                                     Pontoon Bridge and New
Structure Across Arkansas River
World's Longest Pontoon Bridge Replaced
                                     Under Direction of CLARK DUNN, c'23
DUNN, CLARK G., c'23, resident
D    engineer for the Arkansas High-
way Commission, sounded the death
knell for the longest pontoon bridge
in the world on January 17, 1929,
when he opened to traffic a magnifi-
cent steel and concrete bridge across
the Arkansas river. The bridge was
finished on New Year's Day, 1929,
seven months ahead of the contract
  Seventy-two pontoons supported the
old pontoon bridge which was 2,208
fcet long and carried an 18 foot road-
way. It was held in place by heavy
wire cables anchored to seven towers
placed at intervals across the river. In
order to save the bridge from destruc-
tion in the time of high water it was
built in 13 sections each of which
could be towed by a specially con-
structed ferry and anchored on the
  First dirt for the new structure,
which is one of the most important
arteries of commerce for this entire
section of Arkansas, was turned on
November 30, 1927. Seven 214 foot
six-inch steel trusses, one 362 foot
steel draw span, and 160 feet of con-
crete girder approaches now span the
river's channel. The seven fixed spans
have a twenty foot concrete deck with
a seven foot concrete walkway on the
downstream side.
  All piers were constructed by the
pneumatic method and were sunk to
bed rock which was found at approxi-
mately 32 feet below low water level.
Much of the steel work was con-
structed on the bank and floated into
position by means of two 40x90 foot
barges with six foot gunnels. The
spans were lowered into position on
the piers by maneuvering the large
barges into place and scuttling them.
Approximately 23! hours was consumed
by a steel gang of six men in the
erecting, bolting, and pinning of each
  For 38 years the old pontoon toll
bridge has acted as the main artery of
the commerce of Dardanelle, Arkansas,
but with the completion of this new
structure under the contract of the
Lakeside Bridge and Steel Company
of North Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and
the guidance of Dunn, a Wisconsin
graduate, the city of Dardanelle hopes
to expand beyond all expectations.
  Bennett, William B., c'04, director of Research for the
St. Louis Public Service Company, recently offered Wis-
consin men a chance at two positions in his organization.
Incidentally both Mr. and Mrs. Bennett will return to the
University for the twenty-fifth reunion of the Jubilee Class
to which they both belong.
  Crump, Arthur W., c'15, who is production superintendent
of the American Appraisal Company of Milwaukee and
San Francisco, recently left the Milwaukee office to take
charge of the San Francisco office located in the Russ
Building, San Francisco, California. Since leaving school
Mr. Crump has been married and has two sons, one five
and one ten years old.
  Ferguson, Phil M., C. E.'24, is associate professor of
structural engineering at the University of Texas at Austin,
  Fess, P. J., c'12, a Madison contractor, has been awarded
the contract for $330,733 of concrete paving from Lake-
view to Madison, and Middleton to Sauk City.
  Geisse, Harlin J., c'17, who is an assistant chief engineer
of the United States Navy, is now located at 217 North
Princeton Avenue, Swarthmore, Pennsylvania.
  Halseth, C. M., c'11, who while in school was a member
of Haresfoot Club, track team, cross country team, and
University Glee Club, is now Chief Engineer of the Civil
Engineering Division of the Byllesby Engineering and
Management Corporation of 231 South La Salle Street,
Chicago, Illinois. His present work includes preliminary
investigations of hydro-electric development, topographic
surveys, and drilling investigations.
Jensen, Harold W., c'25, who is assistant general bridge
inspector for the Chicago and Northwestern Railway Com-

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