Listen to the winds of the lingering winter as you leisurely enjoy the view from your climate-controlled automobile. Make a day’s itinerary to include some of the area’s local bridges.

A day trip without leaving the comfort of your car! Listen to the winds of the lingering winter as you leisurely enjoy the view from your climate-controlled automobile. Make a day’s itinerary to include some of the area’s local bridges. How far could travelers get without the use of bridges? A fallen tree could be dragged into position to serve as a plank for crossing waterways in early-day travels. Forest vines could be woven together to make a simple suspension-type bridge or rafts could be made and then tied together to create a pontoon. A bridge makes today’s travel over the river very easy to do. What follows are four bridge ideas to consider on your trip for the day.

Back in the day, Glasgow was chosen as the site of a railroad bridge that would link Chicago and Kansas City. The bridge, completed in 1879, was the first steel bridge in the U.S. Today’s steel bridge was built in 1899 in order to support the increased weights and speeds of the newer trains. The first iron bridge in the world was built in Telford in Europe in 1779. The 1836 vintage town of Glasgow is located on the Lewis and Clark Trail north of Boonville on Highway 5.

In nearby Boonville spans the old Missouri Kansas Texas Katy Railroad Bridge. It was built in 1932, replacing an earlier bridge that was built in 1874. It has four trusses over the water and a vertical lift in the middle, and was constructed by Kansas City Bridge Company. By the mid 1980s the bridge was no longer in use and declared a navigation hazard by the Coast Guard who said that it should be removed. The railroad began to dismantle the bridge with the idea of using it to make a new bridge across the Osage River at Jefferson City. Bicycle and history enthusiasts protested. The city of Boonville has received rights to the bridge and will incorporate it into Katy Trail bicycle trail.

In 1872, the historic bridge at Sandy Creek Covered Bridge State Historic Site was built as part of a Jefferson County building program after the Civil War. The barn-like structure was rebuilt after it was washed away by the flood of 1886. It is now a foot-traffic-only bridge and is a part of the Missouri State Park and Mastodon State Historic Site in Imperial. Covered bridges protected open vehicles as well as the structure of the bridges, and made it tolerable for cattle to cross without becoming wary. At one time Missouri had about thirty covered bridges throughout the state. The four remaining Missouri covered bridges include the Burr-arch truss-design Union Covered Bridge built in 1871 at Paris. The Burfordville Covered Bridge that was built in 1858 is near Cape Girardeau, the Locust Creek Covered Bridge in Laclede, and the 1872 Sandy Creek Covered Bridge at Imperial.

Nearest to the lake area are two vintage swinging bridges built by Joe Dice in 1931. The larger, Auglaize Bridge has a span of four hundred feet of clattering wood planks to cross over the Grand Glaize Creek. The Mill Creek Bridge has a span of steel planks over Mill Creek of one-hundred and twenty-five feet. Dice built over thirty bridges in central Missouri. He learned about bridge construction in 1895 when he worked on the Stockton Bridge. All of his bridges were fourteen feet wide and were made of wood, wire, and steel. He never used a blueprint. His unique technique was to use twine to determine the distance and shape of a bridge. The tools of his trade consisted of men, mules, horses, and a stump puller. Historic accounts say that Joe could tell if the bridge tension was right by the “feel” of the wire. Both bridges are located on Swinging Bridges Road that connects State Highway 42 in Miller County, west of Brumley, and State Road A in Camden County that leads to Highway 54 in Linn Creek.

Bridges to see in Mo.

Sandy Creek Covered Bridge
1050 Museum Dr. Imperial, MO 63052

Glasgow Steel Bridge
North of Boonville on State Highway 5

MKT Katy Trail Railroad Bridge
Near downtown Boonville

Auglaize & Grand Glaize Swinging Bridges
Off Highway 42 or Highway A near Linn Creek
On Swinging Bridges Road.