2 votes

KCT - Highline Bridge


Main spans from north

Photo taken by James Baughn

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BH Photo #103217

Street Views 


This bridge is a vertical lift bridge that only lifts for floods only.


Two-level through truss bridge and network of approaches over Kansas River on the KCTRR in Kansas City
Kansas City, Wyandotte County, Kansas, and Jackson County, Missouri
Open to traffic
Built 1917; rehabilitated 2005
- American Bridge Co. of New York (Steel Fabrication)
- Arkansas Bridge Co. of Kansas City, Kansas (General Contractor)
- D. Munro & Co. (Concrete Work)
- Kelly-Atkinson Construction Co. of Chicago, Illinois (Erection)
- Kansas City Terminal Railway (KCT)
Baltimore through truss, with flood jacks
Length of largest span: 300.0 ft.
Total length: 5,210.6 ft. (1.0 mi.)
Also called
KCT - Kansas River Bridge
KCT - Armstrong Yard Highline Viaduct
Approximate latitude, longitude
+39.08433, -94.61080   (decimal degrees)
39°05'04" N, 94°36'39" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
15/360679/4327369 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Kansas City
Inventory number
BH 18690 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • January 1, 2022: Updated by John Marvig: added builders
  • August 27, 2019: New photo from Douglas Butler
  • October 12, 2016: New photos from John Marvig
  • September 12, 2016: Updated by Christopher Finigan: Added categories "Pin-connected", "Riveted"
  • September 12, 2016: New photos from John Marvig
  • September 5, 2016: Updated by John Marvig: Added information
  • February 4, 2016: Updated by Nathan Holth: Add builders.
  • October 26, 2013: Updated by Luke Harden: Added alt name
  • August 10, 2012: Updated by Clark Vance: Added category "Railroad"
  • May 11, 2010: Updated by Robert Elder: Added Jackson County, MO to Other locations.
  • May 10, 2010: Updated by Robert Elder: Edited Approach Design. The lower level passes through a Warren through truss, which appears to also be serving as a deck truss for the upper level.
  • March 9, 2010: Updated by Robert Elder: Added Street View link
  • May 25, 2008: Updated by Max Johnson
  • April 23, 2008: Updated by Max Johnson: Updated "History" "Design" and "Current Owner"
  • July 6, 2006: Posted new photos



KCT - Highline Bridge
Posted February 3, 2022, by George Oakley (georgeoakley49 [at] yahoo [dot] com)

I saw the derailment video on Facebook.Amazing how the lumber cars broke apart.Thank god they weren't loaded.That would've been a real mess.

KCT - Highline Bridge
Posted February 3, 2022, by john Szalay (john [dot] szalay at attnet)

Jan 2 2022 west column 36 on the east approach was struck by derailed centerbeam that rode up over other cars .

Jan 3 repairs to the column , added a series of strengthening plates to the area damaged .

image taken from Virtualrailfan camera ( with permission.)

footage of the derailment is posted on youtube


Highline Bridge
Posted February 23, 2014, by Clark Vance (cvance [at] dogmail [dot] com)
Highline Bridge
Posted July 13, 2013, by Kevin Anderson (iamcreated [at] att [dot] net)

Both ends of the bridge open = North West end with train is the SE end

Highline Bridge
Posted May 11, 2010, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

I have added Jackson County, MO to Other location for this bridge. All of the truss spans are on the Kansas side, but the eastern approach extends into Missouri, forming part of the triple crossing at Santa Fe Junction.

Highline Bridge
Posted October 28, 2009, by Greg (upbrakie [at] aol [dot] com)

I believe that it was about 2002 when they reinforced this bridge to allow both tracks on the upper deck to be used at the same time and to increase the speed from 10 MPH to 30 MPH. I thought that I had more pictures, but this is the only decent one I found.

Highline Bridge
Posted March 24, 2007, by Bill-KCKs

I believe this bridge originally had a screw-jack lifting mechanism similar to Railroad Bridge 3 & 4. I vividly recall the installation of the hydraulic jacks in the early 60's.

Prior to the start of the 1993 flood, the hydraulics were in disrepair and evidently had not been tested for years. Rumor had it that it was cheaper for the railroad to pay the fine for not testing the mechanism than to disrupt traffic. There was a mad scramble to find parts and hydraulic fluid, and in the end, only 2 sections were lifted. For years, a large tree dangled from the span that didn't lift.

Somewhere, I have slides of the KCT crews closing the stop-log gap in the floodwall during the 1993 flood.

Highline Bridge
Posted December 31, 2006, by Bob Franke (glad6813 [at] netzero [dot] net)

Mr. McClanahan is correct. The three river spans can be raised during high water. The lifting mechanisms were added sometime after the 1951 flood.

During the 1993 flood one or two spans were not able to be lifted. I'm not sure of why they were not able to be lifted.

For many years a portion of the upper deck was restricted to a single track. The entire structure was strengthened a couple of years ago. The concrete deck was replaced, additional steel added, and the second track restored across the entire length. Train speed, which was limited to 10-15 mph, was raised to 40 mph.

On 3/13/93 an oversized load derailed and caused the collaspe of two approach spans on the west side of the bridge. An east bound train on the Highline was able to stop a few hundred feet west of the collaspe.

Highline Bridge
Posted December 16, 2006, by Mr. Kelly McClanahan (KMCCLA [at] aol [dot] com)

This very well could be, although I have no first hand knowledge, I have heard that the bridges over the Kaw (Kansas River)can be raised due to flooding.

Highline Bridge
Posted September 18, 2006, by david mitchell (dfmitche [at] uncg [dot] edu)

Can anyone tell me when the vertical steel structures at the ends of the spans that cross the river were added and what they are for? A photo from the mid-fifties shows no such structure, but on in the mid-sixties do show them. Are they additions made because of the 1950 flood?