Wabash Bridge

The Wabash Bridge carries rail lines across the Mississippi River between Hannibal, Missouri and Illinois.


It has been a vertical lift bridge since 1994, but it was originally constructed as a swing span. The vertical lift span was relocated from a bridge over the Tennessee River at Florence, Alabama to increase the width of the navigational channel. During a three day outage, the previous span was removed and the replacement span was installed to minimize impact to traffic. Originally constructed for the Wabash Railroad, currently owned by Norfolk Southern Railway.

May 3, 1982 a 250-foot (76 m) truss span was struck by the towboat Northern King and collapsed into the river, closing the river to traffic for 9 hours. The tug lost power to one of its three engines while pushing 12 grain-filled barges in heavy current and struck the span knocking it into the river, entangling the tug and several barges. 3 barges broke loose and drifted downstream, missing Mark Twain Memorial Bridge. The bridge was owned by Norfolk and Western and the span was repaired.


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