Things that Bilbao and Kansas City have in common: part 1

Some kickass bridges.

ASB bridge
ASB bridge

Kansas City: The ASB bridge crosses the Missouri River connecting the two halves of Kansas City.  When this bridge opened in 1911 it allowed for train traffic on the lower level and car traffic on top.  A pulley system would lift the south part of the bridge to let barges through.  When the bridge was lifted, train traffic was stopped but car traffic could continue as normal.  This feature makes it the the only bridge of its kind in the United States.  In 1987, the department of transportation opened a new bridge to the east and closed traffic on the upper level of the ASB bridge.  Twenty-six years later, I am still disappointed about this.

Bridge of Vizcaya
Bridge of Vizcaya

Bilbao: I don’t know if the Vizcaya bridge technically counts in Bilbao’s favor, since it connects the cities of Portugalete and Las Arenas, Bilbao’s northern suburbs.  The bridge crosses over the Nervión River right before it unloads into the Bay of Biscay.  It was designed by Alberto Palacio, one of Gustav Eiffel’s proteges, in 1893.  The cool part: it is a transporter bridge–basically it’s a suspended ferry.  So you load on your car, bike, or person and it takes you to the other side for a small fee.  Walkers can cross the bridge on foot on the upper level–have fun with that.

Score for this round: Kansas City 0.5, Bilbao 1

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