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Waverly Bridge



Photo submitted by Stan Baughn

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BH Photo #105858



Old Missouri bridge at Waverly, MO

Shot in fall of 2002, this video shows what the bridge looked like before it was replaced. You can see the reason it was replaced here in this video. Music was from KRLI 97.5FM, now on 103.9!

This video is on my old channel I no longer have access to.

Video posted by Mark Shannon

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Lost five-span through truss bridge over the Missouri River on US 24/65 at Waverly
Lafayette County, Missouri, and Carroll County, Missouri
No longer exists
Built 1924-25; replacement bridge opened Aug. 25, 2004; demolished Spring 2005
- Harrington, Howard & Ash of Kansas City, Kansas & New York, New York (Consulting engineers)
- Missouri Valley Bridge & Iron Co. of Leavenworth, Kansas (Substructure)
- Wisconsin Bridge & Iron Co. of Milwaukee, Wisconsin (Superstructure)
Pennsylvania through truss
Length of largest span: 419.2 ft.
Total length: 1,942.4 ft.
Deck width: 20.0 ft.
Vertical clearance above deck: 18.1 ft.
Approximate latitude, longitude
+39.21537, -93.51550   (decimal degrees)
39°12'55" N, 93°30'56" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
15/455497/4340803 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Land survey
T. 51 N., R. 23 W., Sec. 19
Inventory numbers
MoDOT G-54R (Missouri Dept. of Transportation bridge number)
MONBI 4562 (Missouri bridge number on the National Bridge Inventory)
BH 21847 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • June 5, 2019: New photos from Joe Sonderman
  • May 23, 2019: New photo from Joe Sonderman
  • May 20, 2019: New photo from Joe Sonderman
  • August 13, 2018: New photo from James Baughn
  • November 10, 2014: New video from Mark Shannon
  • January 27, 2009: Added categories
  • July 7, 2008: New photos from Historic American Engineering Record
  • May 14, 2008: New photo from David B. Haun
  • May 12, 2008: New photos from David B. Haun



Waverly Bridge
Posted November 8, 2010, by Scott Lowe (dayoffguy [at] aol [dot] com)

My parents grew up in Macon Missouri. We went over the Waverly bridge many times thru the years.

My last trip over the bridge was in 2000. I was going to Macon to see relatives. I have pics of the bridge from both ends. I knew one day this bridge was going to be gone.

I do remember when the demolition was scheduled. I could not get off work.. I wanted to see the final minutes.

The old road on the north end still exists. I was able to get on it a few years ago. A state trooper saw me as i was trying to get back on the new highway. He did'nt give me a ticket but told me, "don't do that again or i could take you to jail".

We have gone to Macon since and i have stopped on the old south end and remembered. I do miss the old Waverly bridge..

Waverly Bridge
Posted August 14, 2010, by matthew (daviddog81 [at] hotmail [dot] com)

i went over this bridge alot and it was very narrow for as much large traffic that it recieved

Waverly Bridge
Posted October 5, 2008, by David Smothers (davidsmothers [at] msn [dot] com)

In response to Jason, your arguments don't hold that much water. For one, if these concrete slab bridges really are better and stronger, then why are routes with higher traffic volumes getting brand new Through truss bridges, and cable stayed bridges, such as the new Bridge in Hannibal, the new Liberty 291 bridge, and the Discoverdy bridge in St. Charles? If they MUST build a concrete slab bridge, then my opinion, is that they can "somewhat" have the best of both worlds. Why not build your concrete slab, but instead of concrete barriers for the guardrails, why not line the bridge with 5 foot steel pony trusses. There are no drawbacks, and here are the benefits:

1: Cheaper in the long run, because the steel pony trusses will last for 70-90 years, while those concrete barriers will crumble in 20. And those trusses can be fabricated in factory and shipped to the site.

2: You at least have a "Semblance" of a historical look, important for areas of the country which depend highly on tourism to drive their economy.

3: Pony trusses do not create a complete visual barrier, one of the biggest complaints these concrete bridges draw is that tourists and locals alike cannot SEE the breathtaking view of the river when they drive over it (Unless thyer'e in a semi-truck).

4: Pony trusses would not create any height restriction.

Waverly Bridge
Posted June 10, 2008, by Seth Taylor (seth [dot] taylor [at] uconn [dot] edu)

THat isalmost EXACTLY what I would say. Bridges can be attractice AND safe!!! Boring concrete bridges should NEVER be built!!!

Waverly Bridge
Posted March 27, 2008, by Jolene V (joakabridgefreak [at] yahoo [dot] com)

I totally agree!! I saw the prints of the NEW 35w.BOOOORING!(YAWN). I think bridges can be attractive AND safe!! ugly concrete eyesores don't appeal to us bridge freaks!!

Waverly Bridge
Posted March 7, 2008, by Jason (jsivils [at] greatrivereng [dot] com)

Too address the pedestrian crossing, this is an option but the code for pedestrian crossing is based off square footage and it adds up pretty fast. So if a bridge is structurally unsound then it is hard to turn it into a pedestrian bridge and meet code.

An option to save a bridge is to form a not for profit organizantion and take ownership of the old structure, while providing area for the new one (if the new one was to go over the old). Then it is the not for profit's bridge, they can repaint it or repair it or do as they please with it. Counties and road departments have harder time with this because if thier is a problem and somebody gets hurt they can be liable in court for not meeting code.

Waverly Bridge
Posted March 7, 2008, by Jason (jsivils [at] greatrivereng [dot] com)

First to address how safe you feel. Concrete I girder or large steel girder bridges are alot stronger bridges than truss designs. Truss bridges are usually fracture critical, so if ONE member fails ALL fail, like the I 35W bridge structure. Now it is being recommended all of these old truss bridges should be evaluated to ensure the gusset plates are strong enough.

A multi girder bridge over 3 girders, like 4 or 5 or more are not true fracture critical, meaning that they can still stay standing if one or more things fail. The Concrete I girder Bridges are the STRONGEST BRIDGES MADE today. They are also one of the cheapest ways to build bridges.

A barge hitting the bridge has NOTHING to do with what type of super structure it is. The barge will damage the piers or webwalls. These are designed stronger today then in the past. If the substructure fails no matter what the super will fall.

I agree that better looking bridges would be great, I love to look at them too, and would love to design them but they cost too much. Alot of the reason nice concrete arc bridges and truss bridges were made was because labor was cheap, so who cares if they were labor intensive to build. Now you have the opposite the labor is the expensive part so you precast as much as you can and minimize intensive labor (Iron work). This is becuase of prevailing wage rates mandated, if they were not used then the cost would go down.

I passed over this bridge alot while growing up, and think these MO river bridges of similar truss style look very good but looks are not an option sometimes when there is no money to build it.

Waverly Bridge
Posted March 5, 2008, by tom

Yeah! I agree. For major or navigable rivers like the Missouri, I think more interesting bridges need to be built like cable stayed, tied arch, or continous truss. Also, I think these boring stringer and girder bridges may not be safe if hit by barges, so I'd feel more safe crossing an older truss or intersesting type of bridge!

Waverly Bridge
Posted March 5, 2008, by Seth (seth [dot] taylor [at] uconn [dot] edu)

Yuck!!! What a piece of crap that new bridge is!!! I honestly think it's ridiculous that new bridges are being so boringly!!! i think they should have left the old one up for pedestrians and cyclists. As a person who lives in a college dorm that has a nice old-fashioned lounge, I think that old pieces of history should never be destroyed. Why does the need for a funcional and cost-effeicient bridge preclude it being INTERESTING!!??? Why can't bridges be safe AND interesting??

Waverly Bridge
Posted March 4, 2008, by kyle

As I understand when this bridge was being built, a bridge worker helping to construct the bridge fell into one of the

piers on the main span during the pouring of the concrete. The ill fated worker would have been sealed in the pier like a tomb. During the demolition of this bridge was the worker found?