Home / News / Local / Missouri selling historic Broadway Bridge

Missouri selling historic Broadway Bridge

Missouri has a bridge to sell you. The old Broadway Bridge.

As part of bridge replacement plans across the state, the Missouri Department of Transportation is giving away at least eight old bridges, including Kansas City’s iconic Broadway Bridge which had been renamed the Buck O’Neil Bridge.

The bridge first opened for traffic September 9, 1956 as the Broadway Bridge. It was built at a cost of $12 million – a hefty sum for that era. It opened as, and remained, a toll bridge until 1991 much to the relief of daily commuters into downtown Kansas City.

Long history of famous bridges

It replaced the two-level Second Hannibal Bridge just to its east which had handled auto traffic on its upper level. That bridge opened in 1917, replacing the original Hannibal Bridge which crossed the river about 200 feet downstream on the northern bank, but at virtually the same location on the southern bank. The Hannibal Bridge was the first permanent rail crossing of the Missouri River and made Kansas City what it is today. Without that bridge there would have been no great westward expansion.


Hannibal Bridge in 1869.

All of the bridges are scheduled for replacement as the state grapples with crumbling infrastructure. The department is offering them at no charge to civic groups, other government entities, historical or even private citizens.

But there’s a catch. You have to take it apart. A tough job for most, and costly.  Interested parties must submit a proposal describing how they will dismantle and relocate the bridge. That ends up saving the state a wad of dough.

More information may be found at modot.org/free-bridges.

–Dwight Widaman