Dakota Datebook: Memorial Bridge
September 12, 2022
In 1922, Bismarck’s Liberty Memorial Bridge was a new way to cross the Missouri. Instead of crossing by boat or train, or in winter, on ice, cars could now cross the river freely.
On September 14, the Bismarck Tribune boasted a front-page aerial photo of the three truss steel structure as one of the first transcontinental car routes. Before 1922, travelers went great distances north or south of Bismarck to cross the Missouri.
Dedicated to the veterans of World War I on September 18, the bridge has served the community for 86 years and was demolished in the fall 2008. In comparison to its newly completed replacement, the engineering of the early twentieth-century structure stands antiquated, but with a grace that is from another era.
“Dakota Datebook” is a radio series from Prairie Public in partnership with the State Historical Society of North Dakota and with funding from the North Dakota Humanities Council. See all the Dakota Datebooks at prairiepublic.org, subscribe to the “Dakota Datebook” podcast, or buy the Dakota Datebook book at shopprairiepublic.org.“