A group of about 20 Route 66 enthusiasts staged a rally Tuesday on the east side of the historic Gasconade River Bridge near Hazelgreen, Missouri, to plead with the state to repair, not replace, the deteriorating span.
“Roamin’ Rich” Dinkela organized the effort within the past few days. The bridge was closed Dec. 18 after a state inspection determined the 90-year-old Route 66 bridge had decayed to where it is unsafe.
The Missouri Department of Transportation is motivated to reopen that section of the road because it is an alternate route if nearby Interstate 44 is closed. However, MoDOT is making no guarantees it will repair the bridge.
KLOR-TV filed this excellent report about the rally:
One MoDOT engineer said a decision on the bridge’s future would be made by mid-January. Another such engineer told me 90 days. Either way, we should know something before spring.
And although 20 people doesn’t sound like a lot, keep in mind the rally was organized quickly in the middle of a workday right before Christmas. Given those facts, 20 people is a fairly impressive turnout.
You can contact MoDOT here.
UPDATE: Jackie Welborn generously sent me a batch of photos from the rally. Here they are in slideshow form:
Created with flickr slideshow.