Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Whose bridge is this?

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. MoPac RR Old US 60-West Approach

My next find was an abandoned bridge over Clear Creek near Monett Clear Creek-North Approach
Clear Creek-Oblique View
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.

1 comment:

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