6 votes

Schell City Bridge



Photo taken by William Jeffery

BH Photo #107654


Lost through truss bridge over Osage River on Rockville Road/Old River Road north of Schell City
Vernon County, Missouri, and Bates County, Missouri
The remaining structure of the bridge collapsed between February 7-21, 2012.
Built 1900; partially collapsed ?; completely collapsed Feb. 2012
- A.M. Blodgett of Kansas City, Missouri (Contractor)
- Canton Bridge Co. of Canton, Ohio (Approach span)
- Kansas City Bridge Co. of Kansas City, Missouri (Fabrication)
Main span: Pin-connected, 10-panel Parker through truss
South approach: Pin-connected, half-hip Pratt pony truss (collapsed)
Length of largest span: 174.8 ft.
Total length: 317.8 ft.
Deck width: 13.7 ft.
Vertical clearance above deck: 14.2 ft.
Approximate latitude, longitude
+38.04891, -94.12194   (decimal degrees)
38°02'56" N, 94°07'19" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
15/401560/4211835 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Land survey
T. 38 N., R. 29 W., Sec. 21
Inventory numbers
MO 007-576002.5 (Missouri off-system bridge number)
MONBI 24908 (Missouri bridge number on the National Bridge Inventory)
BH 22755 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • February 22, 2012: Updated by Ben Tate: Updated info to reflect collapse
  • February 1, 2012: New photos from Larry Dooley
  • October 12, 2011: New photos from Ruth Reynolds
  • September 1, 2011: New photos from Ben Tate
  • January 15, 2007: Posted photos from William Jeffery



Schell City Bridge
Posted March 30, 2021, by River kid

The south end of the bridge was damaged by somebody, leading to the south end of the the bridge to collapse. Flood waters and log pile ups against the rest of it pushed it in the water. A lot of memories on this bridge

Schell City Bridge
Posted February 17, 2014, by ArtS (asuckewer [at] knite [dot] com)

Another article, with picture of the destroyed bridge:



Art S.

Schell City Bridge
Posted October 2, 2012, by Mark Frazier (mfrazier [at] kc [dot] rr [dot] com)

Workers tackle removal of collapsed bridge - Tuesday, October 2, 2012 - Nevada Daily Mail


"Workers from Gilkey Tow Service, Rich Hill, work to attach chains and a block and tackle to the south approach of the old bridge that used to cross the Osage River just north of Schell City on Friday. Ron Gilkey, at the lower portion of the structure, handles a cable attached to his winch truck while Brent Morrison, higher on the structure and to the left, passes the block and tackle to Keith Beck. The crew worked through the night on Thursday, preparing to remove that portion of the old structure. The collapsed bridge -- on 2750 Road, also known as River Road -- connected Vernon and Bates counties for more than a century, having been constructed in 1900. It was the quickest route between Schell City and Rockville. The bridge fell into the river in February 2012 and it took several months to work out the logistics of getting it out of the river. The bridge belongs to Bates County, according to Missouri Department of Transportation records, and Gilkey approached the Bates County Commission about removing the bridge, saying he's doing it mostly for the scrap iron, "and to give something back." Most of the approach in the north side has been removed and Gilkey said he will pull the remainder of the old bridge out onto the south bank of the Osage. He also plans to remove the old bridge that collapsed into the Marmaton River just north of Nevada near the Cephus Ford Access many years ago. None of that work is costing the county any money. Gilkey has "no idea" when the projects will be finished, "I've never done anything like this before," he said. Rusty Murry/Daily Mail"

Schell City Bridge
Posted August 6, 2012, by Fmiser (fmiser [at] gmail [dot] com)

It could be the same bridge. I see no clear evidence that it's _not_. They both use U-bolts to attach the floor beams to the pins. Both have V-laced verticals, with the lacing on the same sides. Both use upset eye-bars.

However, I measure this bridge to be 2 miles north of Schell City, not 2.5 miles north west. 2.5 miles NW would better match the bridge on Rt "AA"/"M". But a quick search shows that to have been built in 1979.


Conclusion - it's probably be the same one. But it's not really proof. There aren't really any other bridges that I see that could be described 2.5 miles north west of Schell City over the Osage river.

Schell City Bridge
Posted August 5, 2012, by Ben Tate (benji5221 [at] yahoo [dot] com)

This article states, "a barricade was welded to the top of the framing to keep big trucks and tall machinery from crossing."

However, it doesn't mention the truck falling through the deck in 1988.


Schell City Bridge
Posted August 5, 2012, by Ben Tate (benji5221 [at] yahoo [dot] com)

That looks like it could be it. I can't imagine them paying to repair a roughly 80yr old bridge with that kind of damage when a 9yr old bridge is right down the road.

Schell City Bridge
Posted August 5, 2012, by Clark Vance (cvance [at] dogmail [dot] com)

Here's a picture of the collapse. Does this look like the Schell City bridge looking south? Tall stone pier, possible pony truss past the end.

Google makes you link to a headline so open the link then move to the picture to the left of the article on poor Mecham.


Schell City Bridge
Posted August 5, 2012, by Ben Tate (benji5221 [at] yahoo [dot] com)


The pony truss is at the southern end. I visited it during the 2011 bridge hunter convention. I entered the coordinates into my GPS and followed the instructions. I don't know if you can reach it from the north. From the south, I drove on a dirt road and eventually had to get out and walk about a quarter mile since it was so muddy. That's about all the info I can provide.

Schell City Bridge
Posted August 5, 2012, by Clark Vance (cvance [at] dogmail [dot] com)

To clarify, the Nevada paper is from 1988 and I wonder, was the bridge was repaired and put back into use?

If this is a different bridge then the information means another truss NW of Schell City and makes me wonder where it was.

(I'm actually looking for the story of what went through Long Shoals and when.)

Schell City Bridge
Posted August 4, 2012, by Fmiser (fmiser [at] gmail [dot] com)

The top chord has buckled. Was that the cause of the collapse? Or the consequence? Hard to say. But from the photos, it appears both the abutment and pier are intact and therefore unlikely that they were the cause of the collapse.

Now a nit pick. There are 42 photos of that bridge - but not even one of them has any comments. And only two of them have titles. "Overview" and "Deck view". Even just a little bit of text information can really help with understanding. For example, is it the north or south end that has the pony truss approach? All the photos seem to be from that side of the river. Does that mean the other side is inaccessible? Or is it just that no one tried? Typing in some text descriptions can take time and effort, but even just a little bit on a couple of the images is really nice.

Schell City Bridge
Posted August 4, 2012, by Clark Vance (cvance [at] dogmail [dot] com)

Does anyone know if this 1988 truck through bridge incident is the Schell City bridge?


Schell City Bridge
Posted February 22, 2012, by Chris Perry

Sad indeed! The pier is still standing. Maybe the abutment eroded away? Must have been in really poor shape to collapse on its own.

Schell City Bridge
Posted February 22, 2012, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Another piece of history gone...depressing!

Schell City Bridge
Posted February 22, 2012, by Ben Tate (benji5221 [at] yahoo [dot] com)

Wow! That's sad. I'm glad I got to see it before the rest of it fell.

Larry, in pic#37, were you actually standing on the bridge?

Schell City Bridge
Posted February 22, 2012, by Larry Dooley (larry [dot] e [dot] dooley [at] gmail [dot] com)

The bridge collapsed in February of 2012.

Schell City Bridge
Posted September 2, 2011, by Nathan Holth (form3 [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

Seriously?! From the photos it looks like at the end with the collapsed span, parts from some other truss bridge were stacked up acting as an abutment or retaining wall?

Schell City Bridge
Posted December 29, 2010, by Scott Lowe (dayoffguy [at] aol [dot] com)

Great place to duck hunt, Schell City!!

Used to duck hunt there when i was younger with my dad. Many a duck met their end crossing our shotguns path.

Schell City Bridge
Posted May 27, 2009, by gina ensor (martinislaw [at] yahoo [dot] com)

Yes it is still standing. They have tried to tear it down several times in the past, but thankfully have been unsuccessful in doing so.

Come take your pictures!!

Schell City Bridge
Posted January 3, 2009, by Ruth Reynolds (ruthmusic [at] yahoo [dot] com)

Does anyone know if this bridge is still standing? I've wanted to get pictures of it, but didn't want to drive that far if it has been removed.