1 vote

Kingshighway Viaduct


HAER photo

This photo from the Historic American Engineering Record shows the main span before the bridge was replaced [HAER photo taken July 1987 by David K. Atkinson]

BH Photo #107217

Street Views 


Demolition of the open-spandrel arch spans began in June 1992. The crews were nearly done demolishing the first of the three main spans, and was cutting through the final reinforcement rod (the tendon, if you will). Once the tendon of the first span was severed, a chain reaction occurred with the other two arch spans: they collapsed under their own weight onto the railroad tracks below, causing one huge problem. Railroad traffic was backed up for days as demolition crews worked to clear the collapsed spans from the tracks. It turns out that the supports of the three main spans were dependent on each other.

Another lesson to be learned in building huge bridges of this type and design (read the HAER report).


Lost concrete arch bridge on South Kingshighway Blvd. over the BNSF / Union Pacific railroad, between Manchester Ave. and McRee Ave. in St. Louis
The Hill, St. Louis, Missouri
Replaced by a new bridge
Built 1910-12 by the City of St. Louis for a cost of $470,000; reconstructed 1955; portion of handrail and embankment collapsed in 1987 reducing the bridge from six to four lanes; demolished 1992 and replaced in 1993 by the "Bridge Across St. Louis"
- William P. Carmichael Co. of Williamsport, Indiana
- BNSF Railway (BNSF)
- Missouri Pacific Railroad (MP)
- St. Louis-San Francisco Railway (SLSF; Frisco)
- Union Pacific Railroad (UP)
Open-spandrel arch
Length of largest span: 170.0 ft.
Total length: 1,857.0 ft.
Deck width: 44.5 ft.
Approximate latitude, longitude
+38.62353, -90.26548   (decimal degrees)
38°37'25" N, 90°15'56" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
15/738056/4278548 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Webster Groves
Land survey
T. 45 N., R. 7 E., Sec. 19
Inventory number
BH 22638 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • June 23, 2022: Updated by Tony Dillon: Added builder per forum post
  • March 23, 2022: New Street View added by Drew a. Walters
  • November 16, 2010: Updated by Mark Dellbringge: Modified history
  • October 1, 2010: Updated by Mark Dellbringge: Added data from 1991 NBI
  • September 30, 2010: Updated by Mark Dellbringge: Added description



Kingshighway Viaduct
Posted June 23, 2022, by Julie Brawner (brawnermtg [at] gmail [dot] com)

Originally built by William P. Carmichael Construction Company, as noted in his obituary.

Kingshighway Viaduct
Posted August 21, 2012, by Julie Kelemen (funch357 [at] aol [dot] com)

In '93, the rebuilt bridge was christened with a plaque at its NW end and dubbed "The Bridge Across St. Louis" as part of a ceremony recognizing racial division and seeking healing between the north and south sides of the city. The bridge is a symbolic dividing line between the city's north and south sides.

The South Side has been, and continues to be, predominantly white while the North Side continues to be predominantly black. Then Mayor Freeman Bosley Jr. was master of ceremonies for the event. Bosley was St. Louis' first African-American mayor. Community organizations from both sides of the bridge -- Churches Committed to Community Concerns (from the outh Side) and Churches Allied for Community Improvement (from the North Side) orchestrated the event.

Kingshighway Viaduct
Posted September 30, 2010, by Mark Dellbringge

The replacement bridge had way too many lights on it (over 200 of them) and finally succumbed in 2010 to the pain of St. Louis City facing a multi-million dollar budget shortfall. In July the city removed all the orange lights. Every other light stand has now been replaced with a single lighting fixture.

Kingshighway Viaduct
Posted August 6, 2008, by JZ (Zoomjz [at] aol [dot] com)

The lighting on the old bridge is how it should be. The new bridge has way to many lights on it. It has a double light every ten feet or so, and tall lights to light the road. The city should remove some of those lights. They have better things to do with the money then pay the electric bill for those lights.