South Kingshighway Viaduct

Update: I revisited this viaduct in 2015; it was closed in 2015 for demolition and replaced with a new bridge which opened in 2017. See it back in 2009.

Most people have traveled up and over the crumbling South Kingshighway Viaduct, but unless you’re taking the bizarre detour for Shaw Avenue, there is little reason to go down there.


Built in 1936, supposedly by the Missouri Highway Department, it is beginning to show its age. But what is most interesting are the well-preserved staircases that go up either side of the tracks.


There is something elegant about the piers, and if you look closely to the left below, you can see a gap in the balustrade facing the street that apparently allowed for access to streetcars. I don’t know if that’s true or not.


Interestingly, Kingshighway already passed through the area before the bridge, so the curbs that belonged to the old at-grade crossing of the railroad are still there.


This billboard structure seems to date to shortly after the construction of the bridge.


And of course, there were already buildings along the street, so they now sit in the shadow of the bridge.


3 Comments Add yours

  1. Didn’t they allow for skaters to build some sort of skatepark under there as well?

    1. Chris Naffziger says:

      Yes, the skate park is on the south side of the railroad; we encountered a dog whose friendliness could not be determined, so we headed down the tracks to look at the factory some more.

  2. Tom Maher - Kirkwood says:

    The billboard framework has been there since at least the late 1940’s, as I recall it from visits to a relative in the area. I think your guess of pre-WWII is accurate, though.

    The use of the staircases to access the streetcars is an accurate observation as well. Access to the street from the staircases has long been blocked, but dunno when.

    I thought the sk8park was still there – is it?

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