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City Releases Findings on Why Kearney Pedestrian Bridge Was Removed

The City of Springfield says it has more details about the pedestrian bridge that used to be over West Kearney Street, and why it was suddenly removed last month. KSMU’s Jennifer Moore has details.

It wasn’t the bearings at the ends of the bridge that led to its dilapidation, as first thought. As it turns out, it was a wooden beam that supported the bridge.

Phil Broyles is the co-interim director of public works for the city.

“What appears to have happened is that moisture penetrated into the wood, and it actually split the beam. And the beam sheared close to the center of the beam. When it did that, the east beam sheared, and the west beam followed the movement. And that put the bridge in a twist,” he explained.

The analysis was done by a group of engineers.

The pedestrian bridge was removed abruptly on November 3rd after public works staff went to make some cosmetic changes on it the day before. They noticed at that time that the bridge "didn’t look right," according to Broyles.

Up until that day, it was used by the public, including children on their way to school.

Broyles said the bridge over Kearney was the only pedestrian bridge in the city that used wooden beams.

For KSMU News, I’m Jennifer Moore.


After the incident, public works engineers went out to check other pedestrian bridges, and the city has hired a local engineering firm to do full inspections on each bridge. Broyles said the city is trying to “fast-track” the Kearney Street bridge project so that schoolchildren and the public have a new bridge ready to go by the time schools starts this fall. He also added that the city is working with local schoolchildren to get their input on what color to paint the bridge, or what to call it.