Regarding the still standing 1875 Fort Laramie bridge, reading your post, I went to Google Books and
tried looking for information via the Annual Reports of the Chief of Engineers. Logical, isn't it? Except,
in this case, it was the Quartermaster Department which built said bridge. When I entered Fort Laramie
Quartermaster bridge. I found some interesting material. It seems that the company that was contracted
used a supervisor they had used for years and he, shall we politely say, "fouled" up. The army made sure
that repairs were made and even loaded several wagons with rocks onto the bridge in order to test the load capacity.
Only then, did they accept the bridge. Granted, a different bridge nearly two decades after Beale's
endeavors but still, an insight, possibly, into the earlier bridges and what was expected of them.