40 votes

Fort Leavenworth Bridge


The Great Kansas and Missouri Bridge

From the 15 March 1873 issue of Scientific American.

Scan taken by Mark Frazier in February 2012


BH Photo #225541


Built 1872 as a railroad and highway bridge; converted to highway only between 1893-1909; pedestrian only 1909-1913. Fire destroyed floor in 1904, another fire damaged bridge in 1913. It was seized by the War Department in 1917 for the (WWI) war effort and made a vehicular bridge. Carried vehicles until April 2, 1955. Replaced by the Leavenworth Centennial Bridge. (summarized from: Leavenworth Times, "One by One the Landmarks Go," 16 December 1962, p. 6)


Lost Post through truss bridge over Missouri River
Leavenworth, Leavenworth County, Kansas, and Platte County, Missouri
Built 1871; Burned and abandoned 1913 , Converted to road 1917
- American Bridge Company of Chicago, Illinois
- American Bridge Works of Chicago, Illinois
- Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad (CRIP (1866-1920); RI (1920-1975) ROCK (1975-1980))
Triple span Post through truss
Also called
Great Kansas & Missouri Bridge
RI - Fort Leavenworth Bridge
Kansas & Missouri Iron Bridge
Approximate latitude, longitude
+39.34994, -94.91004   (decimal degrees)
39°20'60" N, 94°54'36" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
15/335417/4357350 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Inventory number
BH 48873 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • June 6, 2019: New photos from Joe Sonderman
  • February 8, 2016: Updated by Luke: Added category "American Bridge Works"
  • March 13, 2015: New photo from Luke
  • March 12, 2015: Updated by Luke: Added info
  • February 19, 2012: New photo from Mark Frazier
  • June 7, 2011: Added by Robert Elder



Fort Leavenworth Bridge
Posted March 28, 2020, by it's just me (just [at] me [dot] com)

Your coordinates seem off. I looked on the 1910 USGS and it should be 39d 20'59''N 94d 54'38''W. These coordinates line up with the old approach road on the east side (this still shows on current maps).

Fort Leavenworth Bridge
Posted June 7, 2019, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Anthony - I like that explanation!

Fort Leavenworth Bridge
Posted June 7, 2019, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

The Half Star Bandit was a fixture of this site during the flame wars of years ago. His main purpose was to come on here every day and start said flame wars. He spent his entire existence trolling me and almost everything I posted.

Admittedly, I did finally blow my top at him and I said/did some things that I really should not have.

Thankfully he seems to be gone.

Fort Leavenworth Bridge
Posted June 6, 2019, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Robert, is your car Chelsea getting on here and giving half-star ratings to make up for all the dust you made her swallow and potholes she had to endure through the years?

Fort Leavenworth Bridge
Posted June 6, 2019, by Luke

There's an anon who will give half star votes to bridges that are actually important ones.

They really, REALLY did not like Robert.

Fort Leavenworth Bridge
Posted June 6, 2019, by Art S. (asuckewer [at] knite [dot] com)

Wow, spectacular Post truss! A shame that it almost survived until modern times.


Art S.

PS. can someone explain the star commentary?

Fort Leavenworth Bridge
Posted June 7, 2011, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)