Photo taken by Art Riordan, Courtesy of the dissolved Rock Island Technical Society
BH Photo #446249
Recently exploring some old topo maps and aerial imaging. First glance would appear that this was simply an access bridge, however I have found this is not the case. According to the 1951 topo map, and confirmed by actual aerial image from 1959, this bridge used to be part of the "Kansas City Kaw Valley" railroad, this bridge was the eastern terminus of this railroad.
The rail line itself ran just north of the current UP tracks along the bluff next to Kaw drive west of this bridge(back then was KS132), all the way to the present day interchange of K32-Kaw and Kansas Ave (back then a major interchange of K32 & 132), where there it crossed the road and ran north along K32-Kaw all the way thru Edwardsville, thru Lake of the forest, passing the Lone Star cement plant, and going thru Bonner Springs. West of Bonner, the line departed K32 and UP lines and ran across the prairies thru Linwood, and finally terminating just east of the UP overpass on Massachusetts St in Lawrence. The section west of Bonner was abandoned in 1958. A 1959 aerial shows a train passing the Lone star plant. The Bonner-KCK portion last appears on the 1963 topo. The only remaining portion of this line today is now a "storage" line next to Lone Star cement, and I believe is currently not even being used for anything anymore.
Today, much of the four lane expansion of K32 obliterated the grade and bridges from KCK-Bonner. In fact, K32 was realigned to this abandoned grade from west of Linwood to 174th St around 1960.
Not totally about the bridge, but I thought I bit of confirmed background history might be useful.
Yes, Luke I know that for certain. I saw the bridge from I-70 many times before it was demolished.
Are you sure this was a railroad-over-railroad crossing? In any case, if you look at the road names, you'll see that the railroad yard is presently UP property as the road on the north side in google maps is named "Union Pacific Service Road".
Thank you Mr. Goff. I always hate to sound like a smart aleck on here, but I have come to understand that there is some real controversy about railroad names. So far, we have not had much controversy among the Kansas users. In the past, I would try to find the most recent railroad using the line and name the bridge accordingly.
I "Like" Mr. Elder's comment!
To avoid hurting anybody's feelings, I have simply called this structure "bridge, railroad". It appears to have carried a rail line over a railyard. I will let the railfans fight over the appropriate name.