Amelia Earhart Bridge

The Amelia Earhart Memorial Bridge is a truss bridge over the Missouri River on U.S. Route 59 between Atchison, Kansas and Buchanan County, Missouri.

It was built in 1937–1938 by the Works Progress Administration. It was designed by Sverdrup & Parcel. The bridge was originally named the Mo-Kan Free Bridge because it did not charge a toll (the adjacent railroad bridge served as a crossing for rail traffic as well as cars and pedestrians prior to the construction of the free bridge). The bridge was renamed for aviatrix Amelia Earhart, a native of Atchison, in 1997 to honor the centennial of her birth in Atchison. The illumination along the trusses and xenon spotlights that shine straight up into the sky from the top of the bridge's two peaks were installed and debuted during the Amelia Earhart Centennial Celebration on July 24, 1997.

The bridge has been the topic of a preservation debate on whether to replace it with a new four-lane bridge or to keep it and build a second bridge. Plans for replacement of the bridge with a new four-lane span were announced in the fall of 2007 by KDOT and MoDOT with construction slated on a new bridge for 2009–2011.

Building Activity

  • OpenBuildings
    OpenBuildings updated a digital reference
    about 5 years ago via Annotator
  • OpenBuildings
    OpenBuildings updated a digital reference
    about 5 years ago via OpenBuildings.com