2 votes

Jackson Avenue Low Water Crossing


Photo taken by Drew Bennett

License: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike (CC BY-NC-SA)

View this photo on Flickr

BH Photo #254075


Street Views 


Slab bridge over Shoal Creek on Jackson Avenue
Joplin, Newton County, Missouri
Open to traffic
Future prospects
Preserved in place: to become a pedestrian bridge
Built 1919
- O.D. Witmer
Length of largest span: 17.1 ft.
Total length: 138.1 ft.
Deck width: 14.1 ft.
Eligible for the National Register of Historic Places
Approximate latitude, longitude
+37.03395, -94.52758   (decimal degrees)
37°02'02" N, 94°31'39" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
15/364137/4099729 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Joplin West
Land survey
T. 27 N., R. 33 W., Sec. 27
Average daily traffic (as of 2015)
Inventory numbers
MONBI 19428 (Missouri bridge number on the National Bridge Inventory)
BH 56273 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
Inspection report (as of February 2017)
Overall condition: Poor
Superstructure condition rating: Poor (4 out of 9)
Substructure condition rating: Fair (5 out of 9)
Deck condition rating: Poor (4 out of 9)
Sufficiency rating: 26.3 (out of 100)
View more at BridgeReports.com

Update Log 

  • April 11, 2016: New photos from David Backlin
  • November 27, 2015: New Street View added by David Backlin
  • October 29, 2015: Updated by David Backlin: Doomed
  • December 31, 2013: New Street View added by Luke Harden
  • May 18, 2013: Added by Luke Harden



Jackson Avenue Low Water Crossing
Posted November 28, 2016, by Roderick Harsh (visit66 [at] yahoo [dot] com)

In late summer of 2016, the City of Joplin decided to allow the original bridge to remain intact while a study is made to locate a new bridge closer to the I-44 bridges. The City expects to save up to $400,000. by using the alternate location.

The Original 1919 bridge will continue to carry traffic during the construction of the new bridge, and afterwards, will likely make the Low Water Bridge a "pedestrian-only" amenity to McIndoe Park. The historic bridge is currently the river crossing for the Wildcat Glades, Audubon Hiking Trail. The www.savethelwb.com website and the 'SaveTheLowWaterBridge' Facebook page will remain active and will post articles and photos of the progress of this project.

Jackson Avenue Low Water Crossing
Posted May 17, 2016, by David Backlin (us71 [at] cox [dot] net)

From the Missouri Preservation Facebook Page:

According to a Joplin News Herald article dated Nov. 13, 1917, a real estate dealer named O.D. Witmer leased the City of Joplin 40 acres of Shoal Creek frontage, which was made into a beautiful public park. Shortly thereafter, the Joplin City Council granted Witmer a permit to construct, at his own expense, a concrete bridge across Shoal Creek at McIndoe Park. In addition to the bridge, a new road would also be built to connect McClelland park road to South Main Street Road.

Some points of interest: The Park was built using prison labor, the bridge was privately-owned, a Ferry was used before the bridge was built but sunk often and bridge construction began in the Spring of 1918 and was completed in 1919.

Jackson Avenue Low Water Crossing
Posted March 2, 2016, by Nathan Holth (nathan [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

Ed... This is a special variation of a bridge called a Low Water Crossing... they are bridges designed to be used only when river levels are low. When river levels are high, they are designed to allow water to flow over them. As such, they don't have railings/guardrails so as not to obstruct water flow. I assume proponents of this type of bridge would argue that they are safe even without railings because they have very little elevation over the bottom of the river. Many roads with ditches (and no guardrails) are more of a dropoff than many Low Water Crossings.

Jackson Avenue Low Water Crossing
Posted March 2, 2016, by Ed Hollowell (erhollowell [at] aol [dot] com)

I find it hard to imagine that this crossing is used without any guardrails of any kind. Also how is it rated as structurally deficient with out any posted weight restrictions?

Jackson Avenue Low Water Crossing
Posted February 29, 2016, by Roderick Harsh (videopro192 [at] yahoo [dot] com)

Photos taken shortly after a record-breaking flood in late December of 2015 appear to show a heavily-damaged Low Water Bridge. Actually, the bridge itself had no damage whatsoever. The damage seen in those early photos show only damage to the approach aprons which were poorly maintained, and were constructed many decades ago with no reinforcing rods. The bridge was completely repaired in less than a week with new reinforcement in the concrete aprons.

The Low Water Bridge remains in use without any weight restrictions, and handles heavy loads from large dump trucks, road equipment, fire trucks, etc. on a daily basis. There is some cosmetic wear and tear on the surface, but that is due to a lack of maintenance.

Jackson Avenue Low Water Crossing
Posted January 24, 2016, by Becky Cook (ldc402000 [at] gmail [dot] com)

There is a group trying to save the low water bridge for a hiking trail. https://www.facebook.com/savethelowwaterbridge/?fref=ts Jan 14th is after the repairs and this link is Jan 5th https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10206432441827011&se...

Shoal Creek Jackson Ave Bridge
Posted January 3, 2016, by Joshua Durbin (anzio_anney_07_89 [at] hotmail [dot] com )

Late December 2015 flood has heavily damaged the Shoal Creek Jackson Avenue Bridge. It is likely a total loss. It will have to be replaced as I think it was scheduled for replacement anyhow. Just sad to see a historic bridge gone like this one. I have so many memories on this creek and crossing this bridge.