MKT Lift-Span Bridge - Boonville, MO
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member YoSam.
N 38° 58.779 W 092° 45.272
15S E 521261 N 4314546
Quick Description: This lift-span bridge was schedule for removal, but a law suit by the state and preservation groups saved it.
Location: Missouri, United States
Date Posted: 11/28/2021 7:58:15 AM
Waymark Code: WM15B5B
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member tiki-4
Views: 1

Long Description:

County of bridge: Cooper County
Location of bridge: Across Missouri River, old MKT train tracks, near Cliff St., Boonville
Built: 1932
Built BY: Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railway
Length: 1,615 feet

"The massive lift bridge at Boonville, Missouri once had an uncertain future.

"However, thanks to the dedicated efforts of volunteers and politicians, the bridge will remain in place for years to come.
In 1992, the bridge was abandoned by Union Pacific. In 2004, Union Pacific developed a plan to demolish this bridge. By 2005, Union Pacific planned to build a new bridge over the Osage River using the recycled parts from this structure.
Attorney General Jay Nixon refused to let Union Pacific demolish the structure. After a fight including citizens in Cooper County, the Missouri DNR and Jay Nixon, the bridge was spared demolition.
Since then, The Katy Bridge Project has sought to advocate for rehabilitation and reuse of the massive bridge as a trail. The Katy Trail, a nationally recognized rail trail uses the rail bed on either side of this structure.
In 2016, the first segment of the Katy Bridge opened to pedestrians. Two more segments will follow, including the full operation of the lift span.

"The design of the bridge is rather insignificant. A 408 foot Polygonal Warren Through Truss main span with 14 panels and riveted connections sits on towers and functions as a lift span.
"To the south, a single 8-panel Polygonal Warren Through Truss span with riveted connections spans 247 feet. A modern pedestrian span crosses the Union Pacific Railroad, to replace a 60 foot girder span. On the north, a trip of 300 foot long 10-panel riveted Polygonal Warren Through Trusses approach the main span.
"All of these spans rest on concrete substructures. The lift span is currently locked in raised position, although proposals suggest that the bridge will operate again.
"These truss spans feature massively built up members, heavy lacing and a sleek 1930s look. The structure has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
"Previous bridges at this location were a Whipple Through Truss built in 1874, and a swing bridge built in 1896.
"In 2016, the first section of the bridge opened for $750,000. This section included just the south approach." ~ Joh Marvig Bridges


"This bridge constitutes the only Missouri river crossing for the Missouri-Kansas-Texas (MKT) railroad. It has a unique vertical lift span design to allow easy passage of river traffic. The lift span itself is 408 feet long, electrically operated, and weighs more than 1,200 tons. This bridge merged railroad and river commerce on the Missouri River. It is in excellent structural condition and the quality of its steel contributes to the threat to its existence. The direct threat to this structure stems from interpretations of the 1987 Rails to Trails agreement that developed the KT State Park along the Missouri Rivers. The bridge was included as part of the interim trail use agreement. However, in October 2004, the Union Pacific Railroad initiated plans to demolish the bridge and recycle its steel for new bridge at Osage City, Missouri. There was strong public outcry and demolition was temporarily on hold. However, recently DNR has reversed its position and has agreed to allow Union Pacific to remove the bridge. Therefore, there is an immediate threat to this unique historic property.

"“In 2005, Missouri Preservation’s list of Most Endangered Places included the 1932 KATY Railroad bridge at Boonville. Owner Union Pacific Railroad sought to replace the aging river crossing with a new railroad bridge. The proposed upgrade included demolition of the existing lift bridge. The KATY Bridge Coalition formed to save the historic bridge with the goal of converting it into a bicycle/pedestrian link across the Missouri River for the Katy Trail. After six years of advocacy by the Coalition, Governor Jay Nixon announced that the bridge would not be torn down. An agreement signed by the State, the City of Boonville and Union Pacific turned ownership of the bridge over to the City of Boonville. With this major hurdle overcome, the Coalition is now moving forward with plans to convert the bridge to pedestrian use.” ~ Missouri Preservation

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