At 101, bridge still carries heavy traffic

Michael Bushnell
Northeast News

This Max Bernstein pre-linen style postcard, circa 1925, was sent to Miss May Clifford, R.F.D. of Sedalia, Mo., on Aug. 5, 1925.

It reads, “Greetings from the heart of America. Hope Dad and all keep well. Frequently we visit you in spirit. Devotedly, S. M. L & Co.”

The card shows the “new” Hannibal Bridge, noted as the “Burlington Bridge over the Missouri River” in this postcard.

The “new” Hannibal Bridge was constructed in 1917 to take the place of the original, which opened with much fanfare on July 3, 1869.

The original Hannibal Bridge was designed by world-renowned engineer Octave Chanute and at the time of its construction, the first railroad bridge across the Missouri River.

Its completion ultimately decided the fate of other river towns competing for the same bridge. Those being Leavenworth and Atchison, Kan., and St. Joseph, Mo.

At that time, those cities were growing at a faster rate than Kansas City in not only population but also in livestock trading receipts.
By the mid-1910s, however, the original span was fast becoming obsolete.

The growth of Kansas City and the advent of the automobile made it imperative that a new bridge across the Missouri be constructed.

At the time, construction of the ASB (Armour, Swift and Burlington) Bridge was stalled, leaving the partially constructed bridge piers standing in the middle of the river like massive stone monoliths.

The “new” span was constructed with two levels, the upper portion designed for automobile traffic, and the lower span designed for the railroad.

In 1956, when the “new” Broadway Bridge was opened, the upper deck of the old Hannibal was mostly dismantled and auto traffic was re-routed over the new span.

The lower deck is still used extensively for railroad traffic across the Missouri.

Comments are closed.

  • Joplin, our last stop in Missouri!

    14 hours ago

    Michael Bushnell Northeast News From Meramec Caverns State Park, Route 66’s paved two-lane surface carries us westward, toward Rolla and […]

    Meramec State Park

    June 19th, 2019

      Michael Bushnell Northeast News After crossing the Mississippi River on the Chain of Rocks Bridge, Route 66 loosely followed […]

    Chain Of Rocks Bridge

    June 12th, 2019

    Michael Bushnell Northeast News From the auspices of downtown Chicago and the Route 66 beginning or end point (depending on […]

    Welcome to Route 66, America’s Highway

    June 5th, 2019

    Michael Bushnell Northeast News This week, we start a fourteen-week series on America’s famed Route 66. Each week we’ll feature […]

    Kansas City Athletics Baseball at Municipal Stadium

    May 29th, 2019

    Michael Bushnell Northeast News Located at 22nd and Brooklyn, Municipal Stadium was the home to many professional sports teams long […]

  • Brush Creek synonymous with Plaza living

    May 22nd, 2019

    Michael Bushnell Northeast News This Kodachrome postcard published in the late 1950s shows the numerous apartment buildings built on the […]

    Sharp Building stood downtown

    May 15th, 2019

    Michael Bushnell Northeast News This week’s postcard, published by the South West News Company of Kansas City, Mo., features a Real […]

    Swope Park – a home to exotic animals

    May 8th, 2019

    Michael Bushnell Northeast News “An idea to create the largest zoological garden in the United States. There will be nothing […]

    Remembering stock yards’ glory days

    May 1st, 2019

    Michael Bushnell Northeast News About two years after the opening of the “new” Hannibal Bridge over the Missouri River, Kansas […]

    The Golden Age of air travel

    April 24th, 2019

    Michael Bushnell Northeast News “Providing the very finest in airline service between major cities from coast to coast, this newest […]

  • What’s Happening

    Northeast artist receives grant for installation art in collaboration with Kansas City Museum

    Renee Cinderhouse was recently chosen as one of the 13 ArtsKC Inspiration Grant recipients for her two-stage installation art piece, “Witness,” in collaboration with the Kansas City Museum.

    Kid’s Cafe sites help alleviate summer childhood hunger

    Elizabeth Orosco Northeast News For most students, summer is a time of no school and carefree, fun activities, but for […]