I spent this past weekend near Springfield, MO. Instead of coming home my usual way of I-44 and US 71, I opted to follow US 60, MO 37 and US 62. It has been a while since I had driven that way so, camera in hand, I went looking for old bridges. The first one I found was a 1926 bridge over the Missouri Pacific Railroad along Old US 60 near Aurora.
My next find was an abandoned bridge over Clear Creek near Monett
Given the alignment of the roadway, I surmised it was a remnant of old MO 37. There was no plaque on the bridge (of course, it was about 75 percent demolished anyway) so I decided to write to MoDOT.
Their first response was: "we build highways and that's a city maintained bridge." Well, after a little prodding (plus sending them a photo and a map of the area) it was determined to be an older highway bridge.
What I found out after that, confirmed what I suspected, but then presented new questions. Yes, the bridge is on an old alignment of MO 37. However: my educated guess put it's date of origin circa 1926 but it's actually sometime before 1921. The exact year is probably lost: MoDOT was created in 1921 and they have no records of anything before that time. It was abandoned in 1929 when a new alignment and bridge were constructed (I am guessing to eliminate an at-grade crossing over the Frisco Railroad).
So now I have a new mystery: what year WAS the bridge built? The next stop on my quest will probably be the public library or the historical society.