Kentucky still boasts several rare bowstring trusses, some of which were fabricated by the King Bridge Company of Cleveland, Ohio. The unique design, patented in the 1860s by Zenis King, was considered ideal for rural settings as it was lightweight but sturdy. The arch carries the load of the bridge, and the weight is thrust downward and vertically. The lower chord comes under tension, allowing the footings to take only vertical forces.
The more known of Kentucky’s bowstring trusses is at Falls of Rough. Constructed in 1877 by the King Bridge Company, it remained used for KY Route 110 until it was bypassed with a new structure in 1991-92. It remains in use today for pedestrians.
All but obscured and unknown is the Rock Lick Bridge which was also built circa 1880 by the King Bridge Company. Despite being just a few miles away and once located on a through county road between Falls of Rough and Glen Dean, it has been forgotten. After the abandonment of the Falls of Rough Branch of the Louisville & Nashville Railroad in 1941, the county converted the railroad right-of-way into a county road which offered superior driving conditions between the two communities. The Rock Lick Bridge was regulated for private use.