The Pulaski County Commission will hold a groundbreaking ceremony at 11:30 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 24, to commemorate the long-awaited start of renovations for the 90-year-old Devil’s Elbow Bridge on Route 66 in Devil’s Elbow, Mo., according to a news release.
It will take about 10 months to renovate the bridge, so travelers should keep that in mind when traveling through the Devil’s Elbow area next year.
Although the village of Devil’s Elbow is tiny, it remains a popular spot for tourists because of the Elbow Inn barbecue restaurant and bar, Shelden’s Market, and a variety of canoeing and rafting activities on the Big Piney River.
Funds for the repair project will come from the Federal Highway Administration, Missouri Department of Transportation, National Park Service, Department of Housing and Urban Development, United States Department of Agriculture and Pulaski County Commission. The Great River Associates engineering firm in Springfield, Mo., also is playing a part in the project.
According to BridgeHunter.com, the Devil’s Elbow Bridge over the Big Piney River was built in 1923 — several years before U.S. 66 was federally commissioned.
One has to give Pulaski County a lot of credit for sticking to its plan to repair and not replace the bridge. It took almost as long as this website has been around (Route 66 News launched in 2005) to finally set a firm date on repairs. But the county knew the bridge was an important part of tourism, and was determined to keep it.
(Image of the Devil’s Elbow Bridge by Aaron Hall via Flickr)