This bridge is a long viaduct structure. It consists of truss spans over the Kansas River, with a long approach span system consisting of riveted deck plate girder spans, as well as concrete curved deck girder spans. The truss spans feature extremely unusual design details. Near the ends of the truss, the truss extends beyond the pier as a cantilever (no supports at the actual end of the truss). At the ends of these truss cantilevers, there is a bearing upon which a deck plate girder span rests. This form of cantilever design is extremely unusual and makes this bridge unique and significant in terms of engineering. Further evidence of cantilever function in the trusses can be seen by closely observing the connections of the truss members over the river. At one point, a pin connection can be found (instead of all-riveted as is typical on the rest of the bridge). The pin is evidence that there is a hinge here, a key feature of bridges that function as a cantilever. Finally, another mystery is how long this bridge took to build. A 1916 article shows this bridge being built, but having one span collapse during construction. It apparantly took several years to complete the bridge if the 1921 construction date is correct.
Above: An unusual cantilever design, with a plate girder resting on the end of the truss which is cantilevered out from the pier (not visible) to the right.
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