Rating:
3 votes

St. Joseph Swing Bridge

Photos 

Bridge must be photographed from a great distance using a zoom lens. Note the fourth span behind the trees on the extreme left.

Photo taken by Robert Elder

Enlarge

BH Photo #117073

Map 

Street View 

Facts 

Overview
Pennsylvania through truss swing bridge over Missouri River on the Union Pacific Railroad in St. Joseph, MO and Elwood, KS.
Location
St. Joseph, Buchanan County, Missouri, and Doniphan County, Kansas
Status
Open to traffic
History
Built 1906
Railroads
- Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad (CBQ)
- Herzog Contracting Corporation (HZGX)
- Union Pacific Railroad (UP)
Design
Pratt through truss
Dimensions
Length of largest span: 470.0 ft.
Total length: 1,505.0 ft.
Also called
UP - St. Joseph Swing Bridge
Approximate latitude, longitude
+39.75359, -94.85921   (decimal degrees)
39°45'13" N, 94°51'33" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
15/340724/4402061 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Saint Joseph North
Inventory number
BH 36269 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • February 6, 2017: New Street View added by Douglas Butler
  • September 6, 2016: New photos from John Marvig
  • September 5, 2016: Updated by John Marvig: Added information
  • December 10, 2015: New Street View added by Douglas Butler
  • August 26, 2013: New photo from Douglas Butler
  • April 19, 2013: New photos from Larry Dooley
  • August 23, 2011: New photos from Ben Tate
  • July 1, 2011: New photos from Mark Frazier
  • September 7, 2010: New Street View added by Robert Elder
  • March 17, 2010: Updated by Robert Elder: Adjusted GPS Coordinates
  • March 9, 2010: Updated by Robert Elder: Added City
  • September 21, 2009: Updated by Robert Elder: Added Movable to Categories
  • September 15, 2008: New photo from Ruth Reynolds
  • September 14, 2008: Changed name
  • July 9, 2008: New photos from Robert Elder
  • February 14, 2008: Added by Robert Elder

Sources 

  • Robert Elder - robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com
  • James Baughn - webmaster [at] bridgehunter [dot] com
  • Wikipedia
  • Ruth Reynolds - ruthmusic [at] yahoo [dot] com
  • Mark Frazier - mfrazier404 [at] gmail [dot] com
  • Ben Tate - benji5221 [at] yahoo [dot] com
  • Larry Dooley
  • Douglas Butler
  • John Marvig - marvigj27 [at] gmail [dot] com

Comments 

St. Joseph Swing Bridge
Posted April 15, 2016, by john stell (johnsstell [at] cox [dot] net)

Today UP switch engines crossed to Elwood with two cars and returned to St. Joseph with five cars.

UP man in a pick up checked bridge before train. He told us they cross on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. This was about 10am.

St. Joseph Railroad Bridge
Posted December 4, 2015, by Richard Schott (stjorickster [at] gmail [dot] com)

Bridge is still in use as of 2015 only for the Herzog corporation which has an asphalt plant on the Kansas side behind the levee. Not sure if this bridge is owned by BNSF or has been purchased by Herzog.

St. Joseph Railroad Bridge
Posted December 18, 2010, by Greg (gbh2000 [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Bridge as seen on 10/24/2005. Image Greg Hurt.

St. Joseph Railroad Bridge
Posted December 18, 2010, by Greg (gbh2000 [at] hotmail [dot] com)

This bridge is not located on a mainline and receives only local traffic on occasion, hence it being swung open a majority of the time.

St. Joseph Railroad Bridge
Posted September 20, 2010, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Reportedly, this bridge has been abandoned. As the Missouri River is a navigable stream, I would suspect that the bridge could be in danger of removal.

However, there is talk of building a rail-trail from St. Joseph, MO to Wathena, KS. Perhaps they might find a way to re-use portions of this bridge if the railroad did not want to recycle the bridge. Link: http://www.sunflowertrails.org/20091229.html

Only the swing span of the bridge is over the channel. Because of the low clearance of this span, it is hard to figure out a way that the bridge could carry pedestrians without interfering with barge traffic on the river. Of the three Pennsylvania trusses, two cross dry land on the Kansas side of the river and would be out of the way of barges.

St. Joseph Railroad Bridge
Posted March 9, 2010, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

My understanding is that the bridge is still used, but only on rare occasions. If the bridge was abandoned completely, it would probably have to be demolished immediately as the Missouri River is a navigable stream.

St. Joseph Railroad Bridge
Posted March 9, 2010, by Cliff Darby (clif30 [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Not too sure this is "open to traffic"... look at satelite and street view; the swing span seems left in the open position.

Missouri River Bridge
Posted February 16, 2008, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

This four span bridge consists of one movable (swing) span, and three, twelve panel, pin connected, Pennsylvania through trusses.