(KANSAS CITY, KS) – On Thursday, June 8, 2023, beginning at approximately 8:00 a.m., L.G. Barcus and Sons, Inc., a construction firm based in Kansas City, KS, will raise the central truss of the Rock Island Bridge 3 feet, 4 inches. This activity will be the second of three truss-raising operations to increase the height of the bridge to meet current 750-year flood standards set by the Army Corps of Engineers. Daniel Gibson, project manager for Barcus, said the operation is expected to last around three hours, as the truss will be raised at a rate of 18 inches per hour. A crew of 14 Barcus employees will be on-site to conduct the operation.
After the Flood of ’51, the US Army Corps hired Barcus to install screw-lift gates capable of raising the three trusses six feet in advance of high waters. Barcus is now back on the job, employing new motors along with the original 1950s gears and mechanisms to lift the bridge to its new height of the new levees. Gibson noted that much of the original equipment is in good condition because it remained well-greased. “We’re replacing 70-year-old grease with new grease,” Gibson added.
The bridge, built by the American Bridge Company in 1905, was used by the Rock Island Railroad until 1980. Flying Truss, based in Kansas City, Kan., is the start-up behind redeveloping the Rock Island Bridge into “America’s First Destination Landmark Bridge.”
Set to open in summer 2024, Rock Island Bridge will span the size of three football fields and include event spaces, community areas, bars, kitchens, coffee shops, public seating, restrooms, live entertainment and more.
Flying Truss and L.G. Barcus and Sons appreciate the interest in the Rock Island Bridge. Please understand the bridge and surrounding area are an active construction zone. In the interest of everyone’s safety and the success of this endeavor, we ask the media to withhold communications of our activities of Thursday, June 8, to the general public until after the central truss-raising is completed.
Please park in the North Lot of Hy-Vee Arena and make the short two-minute walk to the Rock Island Bridge. There are uneven walking surfaces and heavy equipment on site, thus proper footwear is required (flat shoes only, no open-toe shoes). Please walk only in designated areas.
For more information:
Available for Interview during the truss-raising operation:
• Visit rockislandkc.com
• Visit barcus.com
Mike Zeller, Founder & CEO – Flying Truss LLC
Mike Laddin, Vice-President & CFO – Flying Truss LLC