4 votes

Pryor Road Cedar Creek Bridge


Before demolition

Photo courtesy City of Lee's Summit, MO


BH Photo #184345



This bridge and two nearby culverts on Longview road were destroyed when the city realigned the intersection of Longview Road and Pryor. These roads have gone from rural to suburban over the last 25 years. The bridge had been closed to traffic for some years before it was replaced. An engineering report suggests that the bridge and culverts were built ca. 1870.

Quoting from the report cited in sources:

"Found within the Court records is a single entry for a bridge constructed of iron and wood with stone masonry piers dated c.1870. The bridge, located over Cedar Creek on the north side of Longview Road on Pryor Road, is situated approximately one-quarter mile east of the smaller culvert. The court record of the bridge's construction covered over three years of entries that were made between 1868 and 1871. After close examination of the stone piers, it is probable that they were constructed during the same period as the culverts, as their size, color, and masonry technique are quite similar."

The court records for the bridge are a solid indicator of the construction date.


Lost pony truss bridge over Cedar Creek on Pryor Road in Lee's Summit
Lee's Summit, Jackson County, Missouri
replaced by a new bridge
NB gives build date of 1910; Engineering report suggests that this was built around 1870
Pratt pony truss
Length of largest span: 37.0 ft.
Total length: 127.9 ft.
Deck width: 15.7 ft.
Approximate latitude, longitude
+38.90645, -94.41404   (decimal degrees)
38°54'23" N, 94°24'51" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
15/377392/4307345 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Lees Summit
Land survey
T. 47 N., R. 31 W., Sec. 7
900 ft. above sea level
Inventory numbers
MO 048-243502.3 (Missouri off-system bridge number)
MONBI 20025 (Missouri bridge number on the National Bridge Inventory)
BH 21709 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • January 8, 2020: Updated by Clark Vance: More information on the 1870 date.
  • August 28, 2012: New photos from Clark Vance
  • November 2, 2010: Updated by Clark Vance: Added photo
  • September 12, 2010: Updated by Clark Vance: Adding information from engineering report done prior to demolition.
  • February 17, 2010: Updated by Joshua Collins: updated creek name
  • November 8, 2009: Updated by Joshua Collins: status, overview


  • Joshua Collins - Bigjc1979 [at] aol [dot] com
  • Clark Vance - cvance [at] dogmail [dot] com
  • Historical record - Description of the culverts


Pryor Road Cedar Creek Bridge
Posted December 11, 2017, by Clark Vance (cvance [at] dogmail [dot] com)

The AHR-KC report in sources refers to a court record giving ca.1870 for the build date. We have another nearby: http://bridgehunter.com/mo/cass/camp-branch/

Pryor Road Cedar Creek Bridge
Posted December 10, 2017, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

They look like cruciform outriggers to me. I am curious as to whether the date of Circa 1870 has been confirmed or not. I would expect a Circa 1870 iron bridge in this area to have been a Bowstring. I am not saying that a Pratt truss would not have been built in 1870, but the Bowstring was still the bridge of choice at that time.

In addition, I am not seeing any cast-iron members or cast-iron assemblies that would suggest a Circa 1870 construction date. Overall, this bridge looks more like an 1880s or 1890s bridge to me. It just happens to have some cruciform members which were popular in the 1870s.

If this bridge was in fact built in the 1870s then it would have been extremely significant, but even in 1890s bridge with cruciform outriggers is highly significant and worthy of preservation. Either way, it is too bad that this bridge was demolished.

Pryor Road Cedar Creek Bridge
Posted December 10, 2017, by Clark Vance (cvance [at] dogmail [dot] com)

Does photo six show a cruciform outrigger?

Pryor Road Cedar Creek Bridge
Posted December 16, 2010, by Scott Lowe (dayoffguy [at] aol [dot] com)

Friend of mine in school lived on Sunset just NE of the old Pryor road bridge.

Traveled over this bridge many times. This was the old back road to Longview and 150 hwy.

The photo is the way i rem the old bridge.

Pryor Road Bridge
Posted December 17, 2007, by jim mccoy (jmccoy22 [at] kc [dot] rr [dot] com)

the swinging bridge you are talking about still exists. It is in the swope park zoo.

Pryor Road Bridge
Posted June 3, 2006, by Helen Patton Gray (hgray [at] arczip [dot] com)

I'm searching for information on an old bridge in Swope Park. I believe it spans a part of the Blue River. In the 1940's it was known as a "swinging bridge" and was part of the trail used to walk from the end of the streetcar line to the lagoon and swimming pool in the park.

I see nothing that sounds like it in this Historic Bridges of the Midwest website. Would appreciate any information on it. As I recall, it was only about 10 to 12 feet wide, steel construction with wooden deck. Warnings were posted not to swing it...but when five or six people "marched" on it in step with one another, it did swing.