Wabash Bridge

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This article is about a railroad bridge near Hannibal, Missouri. For other bridges of the same name, see Wabash Bridge (disambiguation).
Wabash Bridge
Wabash Bridge.jpg
The Wabash Bridge looking southeast
Coordinates 39°43′27″N 91°21′44″W / 39.72417°N 91.36222°W / 39.72417; -91.36222
Carries 1 track of Norfolk Southern Railway
Crosses Mississippi River
Locale Hannibal, Missouri and Pike County, Illinois
Maintained by Norfolk Southern Railway
Design 5 Truss spans with Vertical lift over main channel
Longest span 409 feet (125 m)

The Wabash Bridge carries one railroad track across the Mississippi River between Hannibal, Missouri, and Pike County, Illinois. Built by the Wabash Railroad, the bridge is today owned by the Norfolk Southern Railway.

On May 3, 1982, the towboat Northern King lost power in one engine while pushing 12 grain-filled barges in heavy currents. The craft struck a 250-foot (76 m) truss span, which collapsed into the river, entangling the tug and several barges and halting river traffic for nine hours. Three barges broke loose and drifted downstream, missing Mark Twain Memorial Bridge. The bridge, then owned by Norfolk and Western Railway, was repaired.[1][2]

Built as a swing span, the bridge was converted in 1994 to a vertical lift bridge to increase the width of the navigational channel. The vertical lift span was taken from a bridge over the Tennessee River at Florence, Alabama. To minimize the effect on river traffic, the new span was installed over the course of three days.

Before the Mark Twain Memorial Bridge opened in 1936, the Wabash Bridge was also a toll bridge carrying U.S. Route 36 across the river.[3][4]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ United Press International. Barge Rams Miss. Bridge, Blocking River Traffic. May 3, 1982.
  2. ^ Associated Press. River Traffic Back To Normal After Barge Accident. May 4, 1982.
  3. ^ Railroad and Warehouse Commissioners of the State of Missouri, Excessive Toll Charges on Hannibal Bridge by Wabash R. R., October 30, 1907
  4. ^ Map of Missouri Showing State Road System, January 1, 1930
  5. ^ Upper Mississippi River Navigation Charts - Map079-A.

External links[edit]