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Save the Katy Bridge

"Trains to Planes 2010"

Taking the Southwest Chief to the Depot Inn & Suites Kirksville, Missouri, Regional Air Festival

September 11 and 12, 2010

Text and Photography by Carl Morrison (

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Katy (Missouri - Kansas - Texas/MKT) Bridge Wine Walk

September 11, 2010 · 5:00pm - 8:00pm

The following information is from the website:

The Save the Katy Bridge Coalition has a new twist planned for its sixth annual festival: the group will host a wine walk as a fundraiser to support its mission of incorporating Boonville’s historic MKT Rail Road Bridge into the Katy Trail.

The Katy Bridge Wine Walk will be held in downtown Boonville, Saturday, Sept. 11 from 5-8 p.m. The rain-or-shine event will feature tastings from seven Missouri wineries at seven different venues. Adding to the ambiance will be displays of works by local artists and entertainment by local and regional musicians.

Tickets for the event are $15, with all proceeds benefiting the not-for-profit Save the Katy Bridge Coalition. Although Gov. Jay Nixon in February announced ownership of the bridge will be transferred from Union Pacific Railroad to the City of Boonville, all expenses for the bridge, including insurance, renovation and maintenance will be privately funded through donations to the coalition.

Advance tickets are available at the Hotel Frederick, located at the corner of Main and High streets. The night of the event, tickets may be redeemed for a souvenir wine glass, laser engraved with an image of the Katy Bridge, and for a map of the tasting locations, at either the Hotel Frederick or at 413 Main St. Tickets may be purchased the night of the event as well at these two locations.

Participating wineries include a cross section of Missouri wineries, including Wenwood, Indian Creek, West Winery, Baltimore Bend, Cooper’s Oak, Les Bourgeouis and Inland Sea.

Musicians performing during the wine walk will include Michael Cochran, Pete Skolka, Violet Vonder Haar, Dave Angle, Lee Ruth, Bartholomew Bean, Dave Bandy and Crazy Fish, Tim Buckler and Friends, The Old Smoothies and The River City Singers. Some musical expenses will be underwritten by the Missouri River Monument Company.

For more information about the Katy Bridge Wine Walk, please call 660-882-3970.

For more information about the Save the Katy Bridge Coalition and the MKT Rail Road Bridge, please visit

Facts about the Katy Bridge from

    Vertical-lift through truss bridge over the Missouri River on the abandoned MKT Railroad in Boonville
    Railroad line discontinued
    Built 1932, replacing an earlier bridge built in 1874. Abandoned in 1986.
    From north to south:
    Three fixed, riveted, 10-panel, polygonal Warren through truss spans, each 300 ft.
    One vertical-lift, riveted, 14-panel, polygonal Warren through truss, 408 ft., weighs 2 million pounds
    One fixed, riveted, 8-panel, polygonal Warren through truss spans, 247 ft.
    One plate girder span, 60 ft. (removed) for Union Pacific Railroad to run taller trains
    Length of largest span: 408.0 ft.
    Total length: 1,615.0 ft.
    Eligible for the National Register of Historic Places
Also called
    Missouri Kansas Texas Katy Railroad Bridge
Approximate latitude, longitude
    +38.97967, -92.75437   (decimal degrees)
    38°58'47" N, 92°45'16" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
    15/521275/4314549 (zone/easting/northing)
USGS topographic map
Inventory number
    BH 21337 ( ID)

Bob Williams and I drove to "The Katy Bridge Wine Walk" in Boonville, MO, nearly 100 miles south of Silver Rails Country.  We had two purposes in mind.  1.  To participate in the Wine Walk, and contribute our $30 to the effort to save the bridge, and  2.  To see Jen West of the West Winery who was serving their excellent wines as one of the 7 wineries represented at the event.

We found the Katy Trail, on which Bob had ridden his bike on a portion of, across the Missouri River at a former town site of Flanklin, MO, founded by the sons of Daniel Boone.  From there, we spotted the Katy Bridge and took a few photos of the approach bridge.  We then crossed the Hwy. 40 bridge back into Boonville, and tried to find another vantage point to photograph the abandoned bridge.  We finally concluded that the best vantage point for photographs of the bridge would be from the wide walkway on the Hwy. 40 bridge at sunset.

The following photos are from those 3 vantage points and I'll add photos of Boonville's Wine Walk as well.

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Katy Trail sign on the north side of the Missouri R. in Boonsville, MO.

Approach bridge on the Franklin side of the Missouri R.

The best view of the Katy Bridge that we could get from the north side of the MO R.

The trail is clearly marked by signs and on the pavement when it is paved, right.

Near the highway, where we parked to walk a portion of the trail, was a brand new large unfinished building with these two restored tractors behind it.

Allis Chalmers, left, John Deere, above.

We were able to get closer to the south end of the bridge, by parking in the Casino parking lot.  A UP line runs at a lower elevation along the river, perpendicular to the Katy Bridge.  A former bridge over that line has been removed, so it is impossible to walk onto the Katy bridge from the south.  This shot was across that UP line where the bridge used to be.

(Above)  A 183 mm telephoto shot across the Katy Bridge, which is partially raised.  Note the sign on the counter weight, and the north section of the bridge beyond and under the weights.

This sign and fence keep you from walking from the old right-of-way and falling many feet down on the UP tracks along the river that used to be crossed by a bridge.

While walking in this dangerous terrain, I counted seven of these Turkey Vultures circling above, probably hoping I'd fall and become dinner.
I only found one spot along the wooded riverbank west of the bridge to get a shot of the sunny western side of the control tower.

The trees have grown taller since I saw a photo like this of the bridge from the Casino parking lot (below).

A UP coal train happened by on the riverbank track, so you can see the two elevations I've been talking about of the riverside track and the higher bridge over the river.

From the Casino vantage point, I was able to take a 135 mm shot of one of the control towers, right.  It looks like they might have had an outside elevator to get to to work in addition to steps.  There is a walkway across the top of the bridge as well.

Bob and I walked out on the bridge's nice bike/walk/run way on the Hwy. 40 Bridge to take more full-width photos of the Katy Bridge at sunset. Boonville's downtown in the background.

I met Dave on the bridge.  He was taking photos of all the muicians at the Save The Bridge Wine Walk.  I asked if I could take a photo of his shirt.

South Control Tower.  Note how the bridge is in a raised position now.  The shot above, where you can read the warning on the weight under the tower, was taken across that approach bridge to the left.

Center Span and both Control Towers.

North Control Tower

Both Control Towers.

A Canada Goose Flyover.

Last light of Day across the Missouri Bridge at Katy Bridge.

North approach bridge across back water to the Katy Bridge over the Missouri River.

Closer view, right, of the Great Blue Heron seen above.

The active UP tracks on the riverbank, left, Katy Bridge right, post-sunset.

At this point, I decided to use the tracks only for a "Silver Rails Country" shot, below.

"Follow the Silver Rails of the Southwest Chief to Silver Rails Country, La Plata, MO."

As the sun went down, and the new moon glowed above Boonville, MO, we walked back into town to continue our "Save the Katy Bridge Wine Walk."

Earlier in the day, we wanted to photograph the Boonville, MO, MKT Station.  It has been well-preserved with a MKT caboose and a short section of track leading the way to the Katy Bridge.

Photo of the station on a nearby placque.

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Information placque about the caboose near the station.

Information about the Boonville Depot.

Jen West serves Bob Williams, Huntley, IL, a taste of West Winery's Spiced Apple Wine.  He wore his "Loco Vino" shirt in honor of West Winery's railroad-themed wines that they were also serving at the Wine Walk.

Photos from

Location of the Katy RR Bridge in Boonville, MO

A shot of the bridge that I could not replicate because the trees have grown higher from this location at the Casino.

If you  missed it, more about my visit to West Winery, Macon, MO, Click Here.

Next Page:   Things to do in Silver Rails Country

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