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Fairfax Bridge

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Photos 

View from southwest

Photo taken by James Baughn in August 2011

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Map 

Street View 

Facts 

Overview
Through truss bridge over the Missouri River on Southbound US 69 in Kansas City
Location
Kansas City, Platte County, Missouri, and Wyandotte County, Kansas
Status
Open to southbound traffic
Future prospects
Scheduled to be demolished and replaced as early as October 2014. Available for adaptive reuse; deadline is May 23, 2014. See http://www.modot.org/freebridges/
History
Built 1935; rehabilitated 1979
Builders
- Kansas City Bridge Co. of Kansas City, Missouri
- Sverdrup & Parcel of St. Louis, Missouri (Designer)
Design
Warren through truss
Dimensions
Length of largest span: 474.0 ft.
Total length: 2,594.4 ft. (0.5 mi.)
Deck width: 20.0 ft.
Vertical clearance above deck: 16.2 ft.
Recognition
Eligible for the National Register of Historic Places
Approximate latitude, longitude
+39.15655, -94.62361   (decimal degrees)
39°09'24" N, 94°37'25" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
15/359715/4335404 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
North Kansas City
Land survey
T. 50 N., R. 33 W., Sec. 8
Inventory numbers
MONBI 5821 (Missouri bridge number on the National Bridge Inventory)
MoDOT K-456R (Missouri Dept. of Transportation bridge number)
BH 22346 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
Inspection (as of 05/2012)
Deck condition rating: Fair (5 out of 9)
Superstructure condition rating: Poor (4 out of 9)
Substructure condition rating: Fair (5 out of 9)
Appraisal: Structurally deficient
Sufficiency rating: 38.4 (out of 100)
Average daily traffic (as of 2012)
6,357

Update Log 

  • November 9, 2013: Updated by Chris Knight: Added Replacment Note per http://www.kansascity.com/2013/11/07/4605453/kansas-city-wants-the-state-to.html
  • July 9, 2013: Updated by Robert Elder: Added category "Doomed"
  • January 27, 2013: New photos from James Baughn
  • September 20, 2011: New photos from Jason Smith
  • March 9, 2010: Updated by Robert Elder: Added Street View link
  • February 5, 2010: Updated by Robert Elder: Added City - Bridge is partially in both KCMO and KCK.
  • April 30, 2008: New photo from Max Johnson
  • February 28, 2008: Updated by Robert Elder: Edited "Design"

Related Bridges 

Sources 

  • Mark Frazier - mfrazier [at] kc [dot] rr [dot] com
  • Missouri Historic Bridge Inventory
  • Robert Elder - robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com
  • Jason Smith - JDSmith77 [at] gmx [dot] net

Comments 

Fairfax Bridge
Posted July 4, 2014, by Ralph Demars (rdemars1 [at] yahoo [dot] com)

Can I see the results now please? I hate to see a bridge like this suffer.

Fairfax Bridge
Posted March 24, 2014, by Anonymous

Free Bridge

This bridge and its neighbor bridge Platte Purchase are scheduled for replacement in 2014 http://www.modot.org/kansascity/major_projects/US69MRB.htm

and are available free for relocation

http://www.modot.org/freebridges/

The finalists for design and build teams can be found at

http://www.modot.org/kansascity/major_projects/documents/US69_Shortlist_DB_02202014.pdf

Fairfax Bridge
Posted March 23, 2014, by James Baughn (webmaster [at] bridgehunter [dot] com)

The Fairfax and Platte Purchase bridges are available for relocation. See http://www.modot.org/freebridges/

Fairfax Bridge
Posted November 9, 2013, by Anonymous the Spartan

It is too bad this bridge carries traffic from Missouri into Kansas. If it were the other way around, it could bear a big sign declaring, "Welcome to the Show me a UCEB State!"

Fairfax Bridge
Posted July 10, 2013, by Anonymous

I think a lot of this has to do with the moronic "navigation hazard" rules by the Coast Guard. Even though the Daniel Boone Bridge has the exact same pier locations as the new truss not ten feet away, it becomes a "navigation hazard" if abandoned in place while someone comes up with the money or an idea for what to do with it.

Fairfax Bridge
Posted July 10, 2013, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

I realize that I forgot to mention the older Liberty Bend Bridge which appears to be in no danger of demolition.

Fairfax Bridge
Posted July 10, 2013, by Nathan Holth (form3 [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

The project materials for the Fairfax Bridge indicated that the NR Eligibility of the Platte Purchase Bridge would be reviewed. However it does not indicate the outcome of that. I agree that it should be NR eligible, given the dramatic loss of older bridges of this type in the state.

Regarding the list of Missouri River Bridges below, I would comment that the Washington Bridge is absolutely doomed, there is no probably about it at this stage, and I believe the same is true for the older Daniel Boone Bridge.

Fairfax Bridge
Posted July 10, 2013, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Ironically, the preservation conference that James will be attending features a bridge theme.

As far as the Missouri section of the Missouri River, here are some thoughts of mine.

Brownville Bridge (1936 Cantilever): No threat of demolition at this time.

Rulo Bridge - Demolition imminent

Amelia Earhart Bridge - Demolition imminent

Centennial Bridge - Probably doomed, but replacement is years away

Fairfax/Platte Purchase Bridges - replacement could begin by 2015.

Broadway Bridge - No threat of demolition.

Rocheport Bridge - No threat of demolition at this time.

Jefferson City Bridges - No threat of demolition.

Washington Bridge - potentially doomed.

Daniel Boone Bridge - the old one is probably doomed.

Fairfax Bridge
Posted July 9, 2013, by James Baughn (webmaster [at] bridgehunter [dot] com)

The Fairfax Bridge is NRHP eligible according to MoDOT's Historic Bridge List at http://epg.modot.org/files/e/ed/127.2_Missouri_Historic_Bridge_List.xls

That list is based on a survey of Missouri bridges completed in 1992. The Platte Purchase Bridge was not old enough to be considered for that survey at the time, but I would argue that it is NRHP eligible today.

In related news, another 1950s-era bridge over the Missouri River, the Centennial Bridge at Leavenworth, is also apparently doomed. This Associated Press story mentions the bridge in passing: http://hdnews.net/news/k3446-BC-KS-TollRoads-Kansas-1stLd-Writethru-07-09-0715

It won't be too long before the Missouri portion of the Missouri River is completely devoid of pre-1950 highway bridges, and perhaps even pre-1960 or 1970 bridges will be extinct at some point. Only two bridges can be considered "saved": The ASB Bridge in Kansas City and the Boonville Railroad Bridge, and both of those are railroad spans.

I'm giving a presentation in September at the Missouri Preservation Conference in Boonville on this very subject.

http://preservemo.wordpress.com/conference/

Fairfax Bridge
Posted July 9, 2013, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Thanks, Nathan. I wondered if Section 106 would be triggered in this instance. The NBI says that the historical significance can not be determined, but this page lists the bridge as being NRHP eligible. The newer Platte Purchase Bridge (1957) is listed in the NBI as not being eligible.

In my humble opinion, both bridges have historic value. The Platte Purchase bridge is a great example of a 1950s cantilever. I suspect that this newer generation of cantilevers will be the next ones to go, once we are through demolishing the pre-WWII variety.

The link I posted below actually lists the older bridge as historic and includes some great photographs of it. Of course, the authors then proceed to say that both bridges are at the end of their useful life.

Fairfax Bridge
Posted July 9, 2013, by Nathan Holth (form3 [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

Section 106 applies to this project. I am contacting them to request more information on what stage the project is in and why alternatives that avoid adverse effect are not shown.

Fairfax Bridge
Posted July 9, 2013, by Anonymous the Spartan (Anonymous [at] stopwastingtaxmoney [dot] greece [dot] net)

Good grief, they want to build a bike path on the new bridge? In Sparta, we would save money by leaving the old bridge for bikes and pedestrians. I swear to Poseidon that Western Civilization is going downhill fast!

Fairfax Bridge
Posted July 9, 2013, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

We can now add two more large cantilever truss bridges to the (potentially) doomed list:

http://www.modot.org/kansascity/major_projects/US69_EIS_Info.htm

NONE of the options (other than no-build) call for the preservation of both bridges. At a minimum, the 1935 Fairfax bridge would be doomed.

Fairfax Bridge
Posted March 15, 2008, by Mark Frazier (mfrazier [at] kc [dot] rr [dot] com)

Press photo from May 2, 1939. Men searching for a man associated with the Pendergast organiztion who they believed committed suicide by jumping from the bridge when faced with Federal income tax evasion charges.

Webmaster's note: The photo that was here has been incorporated into the main site.