The A.S.B. Bridge is the only one of its type and design ever constructed anywhere else worldwide, this, only because of its lift span. The vertical lift span carries the lower railroad deck, and can allows the hangers from the lower deck to be contracted into the truss members of the upper deck, thus allowing auto traffic to continue on top, even when the lower lever is raised for river traffic.
[Webmaster's note: Waddell also designed the Steel Bridge in Portland, Oregon, which also has a telescoping vertical-lift design, although it is configured somewhat differently.]
Photos taken June 2012
The panarama from the River Front Park show the bridge under the load of a train
I nearly got a photo and video of this bride being raised. The barge just stopped west of the Kit Bond Bridge. I was wondering if anybody knows if their is a horn on the bridge to let people know it is being raised?
To add a little history, originally the upper deck carried light rail--the trolly--down the center. On the outside, cantilevered out from the truss sections, were lanes used for autos. When KC did away with the trolly system they converted the center lanes to auto use. This led to a number of fatal accidents as the inside lanes ran straight through but the outer lanes had to make a sharp turn out where the main structure came up.
The KC Library has some great pictures but I'm unsure of their permission, so links:
Although there were four lanes, they were quite narrow with no significant divider between opposing traffic on the center two lanes. This inability to modernize, combined with the number of serious wrecks, led to the decision to build a modern bridge for autos just downstream.
I drove this bridge many times and recall looking at the huge pulley system between lanes of traffic.
Picture 15 shows it raised.
Does anyone know if the bridge mechanics are still in use? Does anyone have a picture of the bridge raised? With the construction on the Christopher S. Bond Bridge downstream, it seems they would need to get river traffic through some how.
This bridge is still used by BNSF with great frequency. It is the only direct link from BNSF's Murray Yard on the north side of the river to KCS's Knoche Yard on the south side, and there's also a quick connection to a UP mainline. Most of the traffic is southbound loaded coal trains and northbound empties. There is other traffic, particularly grain trains, that is handed off to the KCS from BNSF via this crossing. The occasional UP or KCS yard job will carry a string of cars to and from each railroad.
BNSF maintains a bridge operator on duty 24/7 for both bridges although the operator is stationed at the Hannibal Bridge a few hundred yards upstream from the ASB bridge (you can see the operator's station in the middle of the swing span). The bridges haven't been opened in some time (years) according to some of the crews. The railroad span of the ASB bridge is just barely wide enough to carry two tracks although there is only one track on it now.
The pier that supported the traffic deck on the north side of the river still remains. Located at the edge of the rail yard.
I would like to know if anybody out there has a photograph of the asb bridge from the north side of the bridge approaching the south? I am currious to see what it looked like up on the top of the deck truss portion of the asb bridge before they removed the highway portion.
From the look of the photos on this bridge page, it doesn't look like they "tore down" the bridge, but rather built a new automobile bridge nearby, and removed the approaches to the passenger deck to this bridge. The bridge is still used for railroad traffic, and believe me, if a railroad doesn't "need" something, they are more than eager to get rid of it, so it must be important for rail traffic still.
Main reasons for building a new automobile bridge is increased volume of traffic requiring more lanes, wider lanes to allow for modern wider vehicles, etc.
Question? When they tore down the bridge, why was the railroad portion left standing? Long ago, I believe I heard something to the effect of a city/railroad contract that stated the railroad bridge would stand for something like 100 years. Anyone know anything about this???
Question? Instead of the bridge being totally demolished, why was the railroad part left standing? Seems like years ago I heard there was a lengthy contract between the city and the railroad that the railroad bridge would remain for something like 100 years. Anyone know anything about this???
Kyle, you were right the first time. the roadway picture taken in 1986 is the south approach, take a look at the HAER airplane shots from '81. you will notice that the north truss is on a curve and very far away from the main span in the background of the picture.
the south approach is very close to the main span.
compare the two.
the picture thrid from the bottom IS the south approach truss.
I retract my prior statement, I misread the information.
It reads view to the north through truss. Sorry.
I like the new pictures. I noticed that the approach truss shown in the 3rd picture from the bottom is actually the south approach truss, it is labled the north truss. The north truss was much lower profile than the south truss is. If you look in the pictures dating back to 1981 they show this difference.
To answer Kyle, yes and no.
The bridge's old auto deck is being considered for light-rail use, because of its design, the way the lower level can be lifted without stopping traffic on top.
However, light-rail still is very heavy, and with the BNSF railway running heavy-rail below, it may not hold that much.
However, there is a another bridge that is being considered that is not listed on this site, The Second Hannibal Bridge, it is about 400 feet upstream of the A.S.B., and it as well has an abandoned auto deck, but it is a swing bridge, and Kansas City, Missouri thinks that could be a problem, due that both the rail and auto decks would be stopped for river traffic when the span is open, but the A.S.B. would not, as of its lift design.
Another, is the Heart of America bridge, the A.S.B.'s replacement, it is a girder bridge, and it too is not strong enough for light-rail, as it is for automobiles only.
So, the subject is very well open, and the Armour-Swift-Burlington bridge may have the upper deck used again, but, like I said, the heavyness is the problem.
We will all have to wait.
I have heard a rumor that the A.S.B. bridge might be re-habilitated for use with the light rail in kansas city. Is this true or not?
does anyone have any photos of the bridge during the removal of the auto deck?
I would like to see some picutres of it while the upper deck was being removed.
does anyone have any??