For sale: one Amelia Earhart Memorial Bridge

It has been in the family for generations, but federal and state officials are willing to say goodbye. The heirloom is the 73-year-old Amelia Earhart Memorial Bridge on U.S Highway 59.

The historic steel truss bridge spans the Missouri River from Atchison to Winthrop, Mo.

It is being replaced by a new bridge currently under construction.

The Kansas Department of Transportation is soliciting bids to relocate the old structure, which was first known as the Free Bridge, then the Mo-Kan Bridge. In 1997, its name was changed to the Amelia Earhart Memorial Bridge. The bridge is eligible for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places.

Bidders may offer to relocate the entire 2,500-foot span or portions of it. The state will even provide up to $200,000 for relocation expenses.

“Technical difficulties and substantial costs should be anticipated,” a state news release on the project says.

The state is accepting relocation proposals until April 1. The new bridge is scheduled to be completed this fall, and the plan is to move the old bridge next year.

KDOT has a webcam on the bridge replacement project that shows the Earhart bridge plus construction of the new one at earthcam.com/clients/kansasDOT/.

By Scott Rothschild

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