This bridge is a rare example of a double-deck railroad bridge, with each deck designed to serve railroad traffic. It was, like many railroad bridges in the period, constructed right around the older, smaller truss spans of the previous railroad bridge, which were removed after the new (existing) truss spans were completed. This process minimized closure for trains. This bridge became one of several truss bridges in Kansas City to recieve one of the most unusual alterations ever encountered in bridge history. In order to provide for potential flood events, this alteration was to add a lift system that made it possible to raise the truss spans by 10.5 feet during floods. It is assumed that this system was added after the 1951 flood as a screw jack system, but in 1963 a hydraulic jack system was installed.
In addition to the large truss spans over the Kansas River, this bridge has an extremely long and sprawling approach system. One of the legs of this approach system north of the main spans includes some additional smaller through truss spans over a railroad yard. Photos of these spans are shown below and more photos are in the photo gallery.
Above: Historical photo showing bridge construction. The previous bridge can be seen still standing within the new construction.
Above: Historical 1963 article about adding the lift system.
This bridge is tagged with the following special condition(s): Double-Deck
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