History of the Wabash Bridge - St. Charles, Missouri
Posted by: Groundspeak Charter Member BruceS
N 38° 47.138 W 090° 31.235
15S E 715358 N 4295908
Marker giving history of Wabash Bridge located in Oak Grove Cemetery in St. Charles, Missouri.
Waymark Code: WMDG40
Location: Missouri, United States
Date Posted: 01/11/2012
Published By:Groundspeak Premium Member YoSam.
Views: 7

The historical marker is located next to memorial to eighteen construction workers who were killed when a 15-foot column collapsed on November 11, 1870.

Text of marker:

History of the Wabash Bridge

1868 - Construction of the Wabash begins

1870 - A 15 foot steel column collapses during construction.  Eighteen bridge workers killed

1871 - Bridge is completed in May, and, at the time, was the first bridge to span the Missouri River.

1879 - A portion of the Wabash Bridge collapsed while a train was crossing.  Eighteen cars fell in to the river and five men were killed.

1881 - The Wabash Railroad Bridge, once again, fails.  31 cattle perish and freight cars are hurled into the river.  John Kirby, an engineer, was the only human fatality.

1884 - The steamboat Montana collides with a Wabash Railroad Bridge Pier.  There was no salvaging the boat.  Its remains are on the bottom of the Missouri River and can still be seen in low water levels.

Web link: [Web Link]

History of Mark:
"The original Wabash Bridge, built in 1871, was the first bridge in St. Charles County. The original Wabash bridge saw multiple incidents during its lifetime. In 1870, a steel column collapsed during construction resulting in the deaths of eighteen bridge workers. In 1879, a portion of the bridge collapsed during a train crossing. Eighteen train cars fell into the river resulting in five deaths. In 1881, the bridge failed again during a train crossing resulting in freight cars falling into the river. An engineer, John Kirby, died along with thirty-one cattle contained in the freight cars. In 1884, the Montana steamboat collided with the pier of the bridge. The steamboat could not be removed and was left in the river. It lies on the St. Louis County side of the Missouri River near the site of the first Wabash Bridge and can still be seen when the river is low.

"In 1936, the current Wabash Bridge was built about half a mile upstream from the old bridge, and the old bridge was demolished. In June 2013, the Missouri River rose rapidly overnight causing a crane mounted to a barge to collide into the truss structure of the bridge. The crane, subcontracted by The Walsh Group was working up river on the new I-70 Blanchette Memorial Bridge. Train traffic across the bridge was halted for the four days while the crane was against the structure. In 2016, owner operator Norfolk Southern Corporation began installing a new tie deck across the bridge with a completion date of 2020." ~ Wikipedia

Additional point: Not Listed

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