2 votes

Lanning Wooden Bridge


Photo taken by James McCray


BH Photo #198502


Street Views 


Timber stringer bridge over Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway on North Main Street
Rolla, Phelps County, Missouri
Open to pedestrians
Dates back to 1862 but rebuilt 3 times, the last in 1898. Rehabilitated as a pedestrian bridge in 1999
- St. Louis-San Francisco Railway (SLSF; Frisco)
Timber stringer
Length of largest span: 27.9 ft.
Total length: 102.0 ft.
Deck width: 18.4 ft.
Also called
North Main Street Bridge
Approximate latitude, longitude
+37.94659, -91.77360   (decimal degrees)
37°56'48" N, 91°46'25" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
15/607754/4200598 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Land survey
T. 37 N., R. 8 W., Sec. 14
Inventory number
BH 48436 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • June 21, 2016: Updated by Clark Vance: Added category "St. Louis-San Francisco Railway"
  • July 4, 2014: Updated by Luke Harden: Added categories "Rail-to-trail", "Wooden railroad overpass"
  • June 9, 2011: New photos from Clark Vance
  • May 1, 2011: Updated by James McCray: Changed name of bridge to reflect its new name and added year built and history.
  • March 18, 2011: Added by James Baughn


  • James McCray - jamesinslocomb [at] yahoo [dot] com
  • Clark Vance - cvance [at] dogmail [dot] com


Lanning Wooden Bridge
Posted June 27, 2021, by JJ (xjd001 [at] gmail [dot] com)

I remember my dad driving over this bridge countless times when he was a grad student in Rolla in the 80s and I was only a couple years old. A lot of visitors from out of town will comment that it's crazy going over such an old bridge. After Google Streetview came, I tried for a long time to find this bridge to no avail and assumed that it was probably replaced due to it being such a fragile structure especially for modern times but found some post mentioning it being preserved as a historical monument on another forum. And sure enough, it seems to be turned into a park. Guess I'll have to check it out next time I'm in town though I don't usually come to this part of the country very much anymore...

Lanning Wooden Bridge
Posted July 4, 2014, by Clark Vance (cvance [at] dogmail [dot] com)

A well known family in Rolla. From the city website:

"Lanning Wooden Bridge Park

The City's smallest developed park, Lanning Wooden Bridge Park is .03 acres at the corner of 4th and Main, and offers a pleasant spot to just sit in the shade, visit the historic wooden railroad bridge, or take a stroll over the bridge to the 1860's courthouse. The park was recently renamed to honor the Lanning family of Rolla, who have contributed much of the funding to develop and landscape the park."

This bridge was probably saved through their efforts.

Lanning Wooden Bridge
Posted July 4, 2014, by remick (remickbl [at] gmail [dot] com)

what's the story about these people, and this bridge?

Lanning Wooden Bridge
Posted June 9, 2011, by Clark Vance (cvance [at] dogmail [dot] com)

Some years ago as a student there I determined that a Volkswagen traveling at a high rate of speed could become air born at the apex of this bridge.

Forty years ago this was one of two roads that allowed one to cross the tracks when a train was present. They build a third, then closed this one. At least they preserved it in place.