Iconic KC bridge moved to Grandview and given new life

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GRANDVIEW, Mo. -- An iconic bridge in Kansas City that was torn down two years ago is about to get new life.

Instead of sending it to the scrap heap, another city is investing tens of thousands of dollars to rebuild it.

For decades, the old Route 40 Bridge was on the main drag into Kansas City. But now it's been cut up and moved to a park in Grandview, where crews will eventually reassemble it. The completed bridge will span the Blue River.

Built in the 1930's, the bridge is one of the few remaining historic steel truss bridges still around. It was put together by hand driven rivets, making it a very unique bridge. But over time, it began rusting and deteriorated.

"If you look at the old bridge and the big old truss and the hand driven rivets and the style of it, it just has a different architecture," Brian Kidwell, assistant district engineer for MoDOT says. "You can look at that bridge and know it came out of the 30's. So when you see one get put back in service it's just kind of neat. A lot of nostalgia."

Two years ago, MoDOT determined the bridge was no longer safe for drivers to cross over so crews carefully brought it down. MODOT then asked if any area city wanted to take it. Grandview answered the call, and MODOT says this is the first time a local city has ever re-used an old bridge.

On Tuesday the bridge was moved the bridge pieces to Grandview one truck load at a time. And engineers say when they rebuild in next spring, it will be safe for people to crossover.

"It's only going to carry pedestrian weight, not traffic, so putting it back does not have to have the same strength it needed to have when it was in play," says Mike Carroll with Bridge Engineer Burns and McDonnell.

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