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ASB Bridge

Fratt Bridge - Armour-Swift-Burlington Bridge

ASB Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth

Bridge Documented: June 3, 2016

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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Railroad (BNSF) Over Missouri River
Kansas City: Jackson County, Missouri and Clay County, Missouri: United States
Structure Type
Metal 14 Panel Rivet-Connected Baltimore Through Truss, Movable: Vertical Lift and Approach Spans: Metal 14 Panel Rivet-Connected Baltimore Deck Truss, Fixed
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1911 By Builder/Contractor: McClintic-Marshall Company of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Engineer/Design: Waddell and Harrington

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Not Available or Not Applicable
Main Span Length
428 Feet (130.5 Meters)
Structure Length
1,475 Feet (449.6 Meters)
Roadway Width
Not Available
1 Main Span(s) and 6 Approach Span(s)
NBI Number
Not Applicable

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)
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Bridge Documentation

View Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) Documentation For This Bridge

HAER Data Pages, PDF - HAER Original Plan Sheets, PDF

View Missouri Historic Bridge Inventory Sheet For This Historic Bridge

View Historical Articles About This Bridge

This bridge is the first example of a unique telescoping vertical lift bridge. Originally designed as a unique double-deck bridge, the upper highway deck was placed high enough to permit all boats to pass under. The lower railroad deck on the other hand would need to be raised for boats. The unique design suspended the railroad deck from telescoping vertical members, which can be raised up inside the vertical members in the main truss. In short, the railroad deck could be raised without any movement of the upper (highway) deck, preventing any disruption of highway traffic. Shortly after this bridge was built noted engineering firm Waddell and Harrington applied this patented design to a similar bridge in Portland, Oregon. The bridge in Oregon has the additional feature where after the railroad deck was lifted, the highway deck could also be lifted even further, to accomodate unusually tall boats.

The ASB Bridge has suffered a major detrimental alteration in that the highway deck has been removed. Not only does this make interpretation of this unusual design more difficult for visitors, it also resulted in removal of an immense amount of the bridge, considering the approach spans for the upper deck were much longer than the railroad deck.

Above: Historical photo of bridge.

Above: Historical photo of bridge.


Photo Galleries and Videos: ASB Bridge

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Bridge Photo-Documentation
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A collection of overview and detail photos. This gallery offers photos in the highest available resolution and file size in a touch-friendly popup viewer. Alternatively, Browse Without Using Viewer
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Bridge Photo-Documentation
Mobile Optimized Photos
A collection of overview and detail photos. This gallery features data-friendly, fast-loading photos in a touch-friendly popup viewer. Alternatively, Browse Without Using Viewer


Maps and Links: ASB Bridge

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