Photo taken by Ruth Reynolds in March 2010
BH Photo #158201
Added a short clip to this page of our 2020 visit
These images were taken May 12, 2019. We found out about the Warsaw Bridge through an article in Missouri Life magazine about the swinging bridges in Missouri and following up with further searches.
If this is the same bridge referred to in this article, both drivers did not survive as Scott remembers.
Growing up in Benton County my dad drove this bridge often. I remember hiding ducked down in the back seat of our car as he went across. The last time we crossed the bridge was right before it was closed. It was "one way" with a light system to warn of approaching vehicles. We were over half way across when some out of towner ignored the red light and sped up to us. Both vehicles sat stopped only a few seconds when Dad made the decision to back off the bridge as the out of towner was not budging.
Took this pic about 3 weeks ago.
Here are a few pictures of the bridge at time of it's collapse in 1975 and the men from MODOT bridge repair crew 7 who rebuilt it.
Historically, some Kansans and Missourians have worked together about as well as Spartans and Athenians.
If a Kansan and a Missourian disagree on something, you can automatically attribute it to Bleeding Kansas or the Civil War.
Well, it seems history is somewhat repeating itself. Seems engineering firms from Kansas still like to mess with Benton County concerning this bridge.
When it was being built back in the 1920's, the company contracted to put up the steel towers, also out of Kansas, tried to put up the west tower without first going down to the bedrock. If I've got the story right, the Benton County sheriff had to force the execs of the engineering and contracted company to give up the prints. . . .at gunpoint.
'Ol Joe Dice got to finish the job. . . .
Shoulda gave Dice the job first anyway!
Looking at the wire and splice in picture 11 you can see a telegrapher's splice. The wire resembles the wire used for telegraph lines which makes me wonder if that's where they sourced the steel wire.
Found this with my Humminbird Side Imaging Sonar scanning below the Upper Warsaw Swinging Bridge. This is the remnants of the deck from the Upper Swinging Bridge laying on the Floor of the Osage River.
Sounds like there was some trouble with the rehabilitation and this bridge is closed again because the new deck has already rotted.
Good new ways of doing mundane bridge maintenance are cool. I will read the product stuff. If it works and is less expensive, awesome. Blasting is expensive and the coatings....are important.
We still believe in linseed oil at Workin' Bridges.
OK, who ordered spam for lunch?
I REPRESENT SUPERIOR PRODUCTS INTERNATIONAL LOUISIANA, LLC WHO IS A DISTRIBUTOR OF SUPERIOR PRODUCTS INTERNATIONAL II, INC.
WE SELL A PRODUCT CALLED RUST GRIP WHICH IS NEW CUTTING EDGE TECHNOLOGY. 40-60% SAVINGS ON THE OLD ANTIQUATED SAND BLASTING 3 COAT SYSTEM OF CLEANING AND COATING EXISTING BRIDGES WITH OR WITHOUT LEAD BASED PAINT.
I AM ATTACHING AN ARTICLE OUT OF A COATINGS MAGAZINE AS WELL AS A REPORT ON THE LAST BRIDGE THAT I COMPLETED.
IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS, PLEASE FEEL FREE TO EITHER CALL OR EMAIL.
HOWARD KINDIG, PRESIDENT
225.268.5865 OR HK54@BELLSOUTH.NET OR SPILA@BELLSOUTH.NET
Attachment #1 (application/zip; 413,469 bytes)
Attachment #2 (application/pdf; 292,824 bytes)
The City of Warsaw is currently advertising a contract to repair and enhance this bridge and its surroundings. Scope of Work:
Painting of Two Bridge Towers, Bridge Lighting, Grading and Embankment, 2018 S.Y. of 4” Aggregate Base, 50.2 Tons of Gravel or Crushed Stone, 1040 S.Y. of Asphalt or Concrete Pavement, 358 L.F. of Curb and Gutter, 1256 L.F. of Concrete Header Curb, 1218 S.Y. of 4” Concrete Pavers, 36 S.Y. of 4” Concrete Pavement, Trail Lighting, Signing, 165 S.F. of Small Block Retaining Wall System with 43 L.F. of Cap, Pre-manufactured Vault Toilet (Privy), Pavement Marking and Site furnishings.
We used to live at Racket Missouri, Karrs Park on the Grand River.
I have several photos, circa 1970's of our Chevelle station wagon on the bridge as we traveled to Warsaw.
My daughter has walked across the old bridge where we once drove.
I rem when the truck went thru the bridge! Story goes the semi truck was overloaded with grain. Truck was half across when the bridge gave out.. Several minutes later a small car came along and went down also.
Both drivers i heard survived. Later the salvage crews were dragging the grain truck out and snagged on something underwater. Divers went in and found a sunken "river barge". The salvors had to keep going and dragged the truck and trailer thru the underwater obstruction.
This bridge has been reopened to foot traffic on July 1, 2007. The city of Warsaw got a grant to redo the historic bridge. The new deck is complete. They are hoping to get it painted and lights put back on the bridge. There are also plans on tying in a walking path from Drake Harbor to the bridge.
I used to live in Warsaw and have been over that bridge many times. Also, years after I left Warsaw, a buddy of mine and I were driving to Warsaw to visit my grandmother, and if we hadn't changed our route, we would have driven over that bridge the night the grain truck went through.
I've walked accross this bridge many times. Ever since I was a little kid I can remember going to Warsaw and walking over this bridge. My parents and grandparents have driven over this bridge many times.
Right now the bridge is closed to even pedestrian traffic for some unknown reason. The city is supposed to maintain the bridge for pedestrian use as a historical marker. It has been closed for over a year now. The city needs to do its job and maintain the bridge in decent condition for public use. It would be a huge mistake to let the last swinging bridge in Warsaw be destoyed by neglect.
The bridge is very impressive spanning over Lake of the Ozarks. It also looks very good for its age and so little maintance done recently. If you haven't seen this bridge and you like swinging bridges go see it.
Up until I was six years old, I crossed this bridge on the way to visit my grandparents. My mom absolutely hated this bridge! I remember seeing the vehicles in front of us bobbing up down slightly as we crossed. I thought it was pretty cool at the time!
Although Joe Dice is credited with building this bridge (and it's predecessor), he didn't start the construction. He only finished it.
From what I've read, the Kansas City Bridge Company subbed it out. The workers had erected the east tower and were in the process of erecting the west tower. However, they got caught trying to erect it without going down to the bedrock. I believe a Kansas City Bridge executive and the company's lawyer had to travel to Warsaw. The city fathers basically told them to give up the blueprints. They refused and left town. The county sheriff tracked them down, held them at gunpoint and forced them to give up the blueprints! Joe Dice was called to finish the construction.
During the time it was open to traffic, $100,000 was spent on it's upkeep and repair. Including about $40,000 spent on major repairs in 1975 after an overloaded grain truck went through and took out about one-fifth of the deck. A few thousand dollars were also spent on traffic lights for both ends of the bridge.