Missouri is home to some impressive architectural feats, including several stunning bridges. Some of these bridges ease the flow of traffic, while others carry pedestrians through the city on stunning journeys with breathtaking views. Let’s dive into the four tallest bridges in the state of Missouri, that stand high enough to make your head spin.
1. Town of Kansas Bridge
Despite its name, the Town of Kansas Bridge is actually located in Kansas City, Missouri. The bridge sits an estimated 50 feet above the railroad tracks of a former industrial site in the River Market neighborhood, according to John A. Weeks III.
The scenic bridge is a part of the Riverfront Heritage Trail, which takes pedestrians through the Richard L. Berkley Riverfront Park, through the River Market District, and all the way to Jefferson Street.
The bridge also features an observation deck and dozens of locks attached to the bridge’s metal bars from couples passing through the area.
While the bridge itself opened to pedestrians in 2004, its location contains a storied history. According to National Park Services, many immigrants ended their riverboat journey at Westport Landing. There they prepared to continue west on lengthy trips over land.
The steamboat landing was established in 1834 and a village quickly grew around it, known as the town of Kansas. This village later evolved into the City of Kansas. Today we know it as Kansas City.
2. Mark Twain Memorial Bridge
The Mark Twain Memorial Bridge was named in tribute to Samuel L. Clemmons (Mark Twain) — the famous author from Missouri. Located in Hannibal, the Mark Twain Memorial Bridge carries traffic for Interstate 72 and U.S. Highway 36 over the Mississippi River.
Twain himself was raised in Hannibal, which served as the setting for his famous books, Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. In his early years, Twain was also a riverboat pilot on the Mighty Mississippi River.
The bridge lies a total of 62 feet above the water. It opened to traffic in September 2000. This structure replaced a previous Mark Twain Bridge which was located further downstream, writes John A. Weeks III. The modern-day structure is a steel truss bridge which cost $55 million to construct.
3. Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge
The Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge stretches 1,500 feet in length, carrying traffic across the Mississippi River between St. Clair County, Illinois, and St. Louis, Missouri.
The cable-stayed bridge’s inclusion on this list might be a bit controversial. Given that a large part of the bridge is located in Illinois, many lists choose not to list it as the tallest bridge in Missouri.
The structure itself sits 75 feet above the Mississippi, which already makes it quite tall. However, it appears that the bridge’s two A-shaped towers, which each reach 435 feet (133 m) above I-70, are not located on the Missouri side.
The Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge serves to honor veterans and takes its name from a former St. Louis Cardinals baseball player. The bridge was completed and opened to traffic in February 2014.
4. Christopher S. Bond Bridge
The highest bridge in Missouri is a stunning architectural feat. Located in Kansas City, the Christopher S. Bond Bridge is a cable-stayed structure that carries traffic across the Missouri River.
While the bridge is only an estimated 52 feet above the water, the structure’s majestic “delta-shaped” pylon stretches 316 feet into the sky.
The bridge is so tall, in fact, that the Federal Aviation Administration expressed concerns about the pylon disrupting traffic at the downtown airport one mile west, wrote KCUR. In response, the FAA adjusted flight procedures to give planes more than 700 feet of clearance above the bridge.
The Bond Bridge takes its name from former Missouri Gov. Christopher “Kit” Bond. It opened all lanes in 2010, replacing the Paseo Bridge. Today the bridge is an iconic part of Kansas City, MO. delighting locals and visitors alike.
Summary of the 4 Highest Bridges in Missouri
|Town of Kansas Bridge
|50 feet above the water
|Mark Twain Memorial Bridge
|62 feet above the water
|Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge
|75 feet above the water
|Christopher S. Bond Bridge
|316 feet total (52 feet above the water)
The photo featured at the top of this post is © Stephanie A Sellers/Shutterstock.com
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