Crossing over 16 tracks on the Historic Jefferson Avenue Footbridge

Bridges are fascinating right down to how they are designed, built, and hold vehicles. While I like learning about bridges, I don't like driving across them. 

I still remember driving across the Royal Gorge Bridge in Colorado. I think I was trying to face a fear of heights. It didn't work and from what I understand, you now need to belong to a bridge car club to drive across. When I see pictures of that bridge now, it seems really daunting that I drove across it. 

The Jefferson Street Footbridge, now referred to as the Jefferson Avenue Footbridge, is located between Commercial and Chase Streets in Springfield, Missouri. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on September 2, 2003.

This Bridge is Historic

This footbridge is over 120 years old. It was constructed in 1902. It's 562 feet long and used by pedestrians to originally cross over 16 sets of railroad tracks. 

When the footbridge approached its 100th anniversary, it was rehabilitated between 2001 and 2002. It was rededicated in April 2002 and reopened for pedestrian traffic. 

On March 1, 2016, the bridge was closed due to safety reasons. There was a decision to be made about the bridge's future. 

The foundation of the bridge is concrete and other parts are steel. J.W. Hoover of Kansas City, Missouri was the construction engineer and the builder was the American Bridge Company of Pennsylvania. The bridge is owned by the City of Springfield. 

This is a three-span steel cantilever through-truss footbridge which is supposedly the first of its kind known to have been built in Missouri. The bridge spanned over 16 railroad tracks of the St. Louis and and San Francisco Railroad. It starts at Jefferson Avenue and intersects with Commercial Street, and then reaches north over the tracks to Chase Street. 

Read more of this article by CJ Coombs here