The Lewis and Clark Viaduct carries I-70 across the Kansas River, several sets of railroad tracks and the West Bottoms to connect Kansas City, Kansas with Kansas City, Missouri. It was the first roadway bridge to connect Kansas City, Missouri with Kansas City, Kansas non-stop.

The eastbound viaduct was originally built in 1907 as a four-lane two level deck truss bridge to accommodate both automobile and pedestrian traffic.  It was designed by Waddell and Redrick and known as the Intercity Viaduct.

Originally, the current eastbound bridge, built as the Intercity Viaduct, carried both eastbound and westbound traffic, but was renamed the Lewis and Clark Viaduct on January 25, 1969, taking the name of its companion bridge that carries the westbound lanes, which was built to the north in 1962.


:   Waddell and Redrick hired to design the bridge.

1905:   Groundbreaking ceremony held.

1907:   Bridge completed and opened to toll traffic with streetcar tracks.

1908:   Bridge survives 1908 flood.

1911:   Bank foreclosed on bridge, toll not making enough money to pay off bridge building cost.

1917:   Kansas legislature authorizes KCK to work with KCMO to purchase the bridge.

1918:   Ribbon cutting ceremony held to open bridge to free traffic under city control, and ownership.

1930:   Steel deck truss beams converted to a lower level, two lane automobile deck.

1936:   Streetcar rails removed, and bridge opened to four lanes of traffic on upper level.

1951:   Bridge survives 1951 flood, becoming the only bridge to remain open to traffic during the flood.

1962:   Lewis and Clark Viaduct built to north, old steel piers tubed off, and coated with concrete.

1969:   Bridge renamed the Lewis and Clark Viaduct after its companion bridge.

1993:   Bridge survives 1993 Kansas City flood, becoming the only bridge to remain open to traffic during the flood.

1999-2000:   Lower level of original (eastbound) bridge rehabilitated for pedestrian and bicycle access.

2007:   Eastbound Bridge turns 100 years of age.

Timeline compiled by James Baughn from Bridgehunter.com and Wikipedia


Bridge Inspection

The Kansas Department of Transportation inspects the Lewis and Clark Viaduct every two years to monitor the condition of the bridges.  The 2011 inspection process began in April and will be concluded in July 2011.  KDOT will review the results to determine what type of maintenance will be required in the years to come.  The results will also factor into the baseline condition of the bridges and will help determine a plan for rehabilitation and replacement.

Inspection Results

The 2011 results will be posted upon completion.

Stay In The Know!  Links

  Kansas Department of Transportation
Missouri Department of Transportation
Mid-America Regional Council
Unified Government of Wyandotte County