At this special point, where two mighty rivers meet, the Ohio and the Mississippi, a truly unique historic bridge presentation is also present, with one historic cantilever truss going over the Mississippi River and another cantilever truss of considerably different appearance crossing the Ohio River. View the other bridge's page. Given the staggering rate in which cantilever truss bridges in the United States (which were never overly populous to begin with) are being demolished, the historic significance and rarity of these two bridges is rapidly increasing. Indeed, even this bridge has entered into the crosshairs of IDOT and the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, an agency that seems to believe that Kentucky would be best served by the annihilation of all large truss bridges, having engaged in a witch hunt against long-span metal truss bridges in the western part of their states over the past few years. This is a disappointing decision, since many of these bridges could be rehabilitated for continued use. Bridges like this are also good candidates for having a second bridge built next to them to form a one-way couplet of bridges, thereby preserving the historic bridge while increasing traffic capacity. This solution also provides redundancy: if one bridge needs to close for repair, the other one can temporarily serve two-way traffic. This factor should be important for large river crossings which tend to be few in number.
This bridge is visually and structurally notable among cantilever truss bridges because it has multiple "towers" in the truss layout. Traditional cantilever through truss bridges have only two towers, between which are cantilever arms and a suspended span over the navigation channel. This particular bridge however has four towers. The graphic below shows the layout of the bridge. Note that the largest span is between the two westernmost towers.
HistoricBridges.org offers a full set of detail photos of this cantilever truss bridge. As a narrow bridge with a high volume of truck traffic, photo-documentation took place in the early morning hours for safety reasons.
The designer of the bridge was noted firm Modjeski and Masters. Ralph Modeski was one of the most famous bridge designers in the United States and was involved in the design of some of the greatest spans in North America. Modjeski and Masters was for a time known as Modjeski Masters and Case, and the original plans for this bridge list that name, while the bridge plaques list the name as Modjeski and Masters. Ralph Modjeski died in 1940, and by the late 1930s when this bridge was designed, Frank Masters was reportedly playing the greater role in design of bridges.
This bridge is tagged with the following special condition(s): Unorganized Photos
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