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Harry S. Truman Bridge

Harry S. Truman Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth

Bridge Documented: June 3, 2016

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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Railroad (Union Pacific) Over Missouri River
Rural: Jackson County, Missouri and Clay County, Missouri: United States
Structure Type
Metal Rivet-Connected Polygonal Warren Through Truss, Movable: Vertical Lift (Tower Drive) and Approach Spans: Metal Rivet-Connected Warren Through Truss, Fixed
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1945 By Builder/Contractor: American Bridge Company of New York, New York

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Not Available or Not Applicable
Main Span Length
417 Feet (127.1 Meters)
Structure Length
2577 Feet (785.47 Meters)
Roadway Width
Not Available
1 Main Span(s) and 22 Approach Span(s)
NBI Number
Not Applicable

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)

Bridge Documentation

This bridge has surprisingly simple and plain looking lift towers for a bridge built in 1945, which makes the bridge look newer than it is. The bridge is in fact a rare example of a steel bridge completed during World War II when domestic steel supplies were limited. This bridge and railroad line were considered important to the domestic wartime production efforts however, so it was given priority.

The American Bridge Company provided the following history:

American Bridge constructed a 23-span, 2,577' (785m) single-track railroad bridge for the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad (Milwaukee Line) and Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad (Rock Island Line) and connected to the Kansas City Terminal Railway. The bridge includes 19 girder spans of approximately 75' each, three fixed spans of 250' each and a 417' (127m) vertical lift channel span. Total weight of steel was 4,568 tons. Construction began on August 12, 1944 and completed May 29, 1945. The bridge was named for Harry S. Truman, a Kansas City native who had just become President of the United States when construction began. Erection was by locomotive crane, travelers and guy derricks, and 120,000 man-hours of effort were consumed.


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