7 votes

Old US 36 Missouri River Bridge


Postcard View

Submitted by David Backlin

BH Photo #197029


A historical article states that this bridge was designed by the author of an article, L. J. Sverdrup, and he described himself at the time this bridge was designed as chief of the bureau of bridges of Missouri State Highway Department. Of course, he then went on to form the firm Sverdrup and Parcel who designed many bridges in Missouri. His former association with the department may be why his consulting engineering firm was so successful.


Lost Through truss bridge over Missouri River on US 36
St. Joseph, Doniphan County, Kansas, and Buchanan County, Missouri
Replaced by new bridge
Built 1929; Replaced 1984
- Leif J. Sverdrup (Chief of the Bureau of Bridges, Missouri State Highway Department)
- Missouri Valley Bridge & Iron Co. of Leavenworth, Kansas (Substructure Contractor)
- Mt. Vernon Bridge Co. of Mt. Vernon, Ohio (Superstructure Contractor)
- Oscar H. Schmidt, Inc. of St. Joseph, Missouri (Approach Contractor)
- Sverdrup & Parcel of St. Louis, Missouri (Consulting Engineer)
Through truss
Length of largest span: 450.3 ft.
Also called
St Joseph Free Bridge
Pony Express Viaduct
Approximate latitude, longitude
+39.74912, -94.86129   (decimal degrees)
39°44'57" N, 94°51'41" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
15/340535/4401569 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Saint Joseph South
Inventory number
BH 48592 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • December 28, 2021: Updated by Nathan Holth: Added builders, engineers, and span length.
  • August 5, 2021: New photo from Geoff Hubbs
  • June 10, 2019: New photos from Joe Sonderman
  • May 22, 2019: New photos from Joe Sonderman
  • May 20, 2019: New photos from Joe Sonderman
  • April 10, 2011: Added by David Backlin


Old US 36 Missouri River Bridge
Posted May 20, 2011, by Sheldon Wiens (sheldon_wiens77 [at] hotmail [dot] com)

No kidding, David. That is cool you found the older bridge after replaced in 1984.