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!"
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.
I realize that I forgot to mention the older Liberty Bend Bridge which appears to be in no danger of demolition.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
We can now add two more large cantilever truss bridges to the (potentially) doomed list:
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.
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.