Old Trails National Highway Bridge - Boonville, MO
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member YoSam.
N 38° 58.727 W 092° 44.705
15S E 522079 N 4314452
Marker in Cobblestone Street Park, and mostly photographs with captions, but the bridge is important to history.
Waymark Code: WM15E06
Location: Missouri, United States
Date Posted: 12/17/2021
Published By:Groundspeak Premium Member Geo Ferret
Views: 1

County of marker: Cooper County
Location of marker: Water St., Cobblestone Street Park, under the highway bridge, Boonville

Marker Text:


One of the first highway bridges over the Missouri River, the Old Trails National Highway Bridge was a significant link in Missouri's transportation system for nearly 75 years. In 1921 Thomas A. Johnston and John Cosgrove, residents of Boonville, led a local effort to construct the bridge. Johnston and Cosgrove from the Old Trails Bridge Company which raised money by selling stock in the company.

Construction began in March 1922. In October 1922 the Old Trails Bridge Company transferred the bridge project to the Missouri State Highway Commission which secured federal funds and oversaw it completion. Local support was enthusiastic as Cooper and Howard Counties both passed bond issues to help finance the construction.

The Old Trails Highway Bridge consisted of three Pennsylvania through truss spans, each 420 feet long, and three Parker through truss spans. Ten spans on the south approach - nine built of concrete and one of steel - were supported by concrete column bents. The monumental structure was over one half mile in length, measuring 2,666 feet.

Taking over two years to complete, the Old Trails Bridge was dedicated by Missouri Governor Arthur Hyde on July 4, 1924. The total cost of the bridge was over $563,000. One worker was killed during it construction.

In 1938 a pedestrian walkway was added along the eat side of the bridge. Portions of the side rail can be seen in the park.

The Old Trails Bridge was an important connection on U.S. Route 40 between Kansas City and St. Louis, and Missouri Route 5 connection the borders of Iowa and Arkansas.

The original timber floor was replaced in 1938 with a deck of steel grating. The new steel deck proved unpopular with motorist because it made steering difficult and dangerous. Sections of the (?) laid deck are incorporated into the (?).

The engineering firm of Harrington, Howard and Ash designed the Old Trail Bridge and supervised its construction. The Missouri Valley Bridge and Iron Company constructed the sever concrete river piers. The Mount Vernon Bridge Company erected the six steel truss spans. W. J. Cochran and Son of Boonville built the ten south approach spans and laid the original yellow pine timber deck. These individuals are commemorated on two bridge plaques that were fastened on top on the two approaches. One of these plaques can be found on display in this park.

With the construction of the new bridge in 1997-98 came the end of an era. However, the Old Trails Bridge did not disappear quietly during its demolition in the summer of 1998.

A plaque honoring Johnston and Cosgrove for their vision and community service was placed on the bridge's south end. It is now preserved in the park.

The new nd the Old [rest of text unreadable]

Web link: [Web Link]

History of Mark: Not listed

Additional point: Not Listed

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