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Frisco - Bird's Nest Bridge


Postcard of old bridge

BH Photo #105150



Lost three-span through truss railroad bridge over the Meramec River north of Steelville; replaced by a six-span deck girder bridge
Crawford County, Missouri
Replaced by a new bridge
Replaced 1966
- St. Louis-San Francisco Railway (SLSF; Frisco)
Three pin-connected, 8-panel Pratt through trusses
Approximate latitude, longitude
+37.99814, -91.36003   (decimal degrees)
37°59'53" N, 91°21'36" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
15/643993/4206877 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Land survey
T. 38 N., R. 4 W., Sec. 21
Inventory number
BH 21369 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • October 31, 2018: Updated by Luke: Added loss year


  • Luke


Frisco - Bird's Nest Bridge
Posted July 20, 2015, by laura (laura049 [at] centurytel [dot] net)

I am looking for a picture of the Birds Nest bridge circa 1886. Any idea if the stone supports would have been from that time? Or when the postcard picture is from?

Bird's Nest Railroad Bridge
Posted February 24, 2014, by Chris Reinheimer (crein1522 [at] gmail [dot] com)

It is currently on the BNSF, ex-Burlington Northern, Ex-Frisco (St. Louis - San Fransisco)

Bird's Nest Railroad Bridge
Posted November 2, 2010, by Anonymous

This route was originally built by the St. Louis, Salem, and Little Rock RR from Cuba to Salem, MO in 1873, though I'm not aware of whether or not this bridge dates from that far back. Likely not. The route came under control of the SL-SF (Frisco) Railroad on April 9th , 1897. In 1967, with the addition of a new branch line to serve mines in rural Missouri, the bridge was replaced with a more modern span, when the line from Cuba, MO to Lead JCT (JCT101) was upgraded to handle more and heavier rail traffic. On November 21, 1980, The Frisco RR was sold to the Burlington Northern Railroad. The line continued to operate to Salem until 1984, and along the mine branch until 2003, when after a lawsuit involving lead contamination, the once-weekly (Friday) train was suspended, and traffic ceased altogether. The route has since been out of service south of the Cuba, MO industrial park. Since 1996, following a corporate merger, the route has been a part of the BNSF Railway. As of fall 2010, the track to the mines remains in place. Hope this helps!

Bird's Nest Railroad Bridge
Posted April 14, 2009, by jack (jackkav [at] sbcglobal [dot] net)