Route 66 News

300 attend Gasconade Bridge rally

Gasconade River Bridge rally 1

Multiple reports Saturday indicated about 300 people attended a rally urging the preservation and reopening of the historic Gasconade River Bridge near Hazelgreen, Missouri.

The Lebanon Daily Record newspaper, KLOR-TV and KTTS radio covered the event.

Gasconade River Bridge rally 2

However, the best report probably was the one by KY3 in Springfield, Missouri. It covered a lot of issues about the bridge’s closing:

I want to flag this part of the report, when Missouri Department of Transportation engineer Ed Hassinger was quoted:

Hassinger says the problem of crumbling bridges is growing across Missouri, with nearly 600 bridges now in critical condition.

The bridge across the Gasconade River is just one of 5 bridges across the state that MODOT has had to close in just the last 6 months.

“Our funding has just not kept up with the cost of doing business,” says Hassinger.

But, as historian Jim Ross has long pointed out about Oklahoma and now Missouri, why wasn’t this and other bridges maintained properly when the state did have the money? I’ve never hard a good answer to that.

A meeting was held at the Lebanon library after the rally. A committee was put together to investigate ways to repair the bridge.

More than 100 photos from the rally may be seen in a collection on Facebook by Jax JustJax.

The 525-foot bridge, built from 1922 to 1924, was closed by Missouri in mid-December after an inspection found deterioration in the structure. It will remain closed indefinitely, as MoDOT lacks the funds to fix it.

UPDATE 3/21/2015: Here’s a 52-minute video from the event:

(Images courtesy of Jax JustJax)


5 thoughts on “300 attend Gasconade Bridge rally

  1. salparadise

    A classic example of American infrastructure decline and lack of action due to lack of funding. The real side of where not paying any taxes literally hits the road. I’ll bet if you check the political preference of most the crowd there in Missouri you’d find a majority voted against candidates who would have tried to raise taxes and direct spending to make such needed improvements. Missouri has more bridges than most states, and, like Pennsylvania has serious problems with them. Pennsylvania has at least tried to increase tax revenues to address the problem. Missouri, on the other hand, had done little. Their answer to infrastructure problems has been to blame the federal government. Someone needs to show some political courage there. But, if they did, I’m sure a majority of the people at the rally there would vote against them.

    1. Rob

      I find it interesting that those who claim to care more than others want to make others pay for what they want. And just because someone disagrees with you in how to resolve the problem doesn’t mean they care any less about the issue. But that’s the classic progressive liberal response these days: it’s my way or you’re a heartless monster/brain dead bigot/whatever name helps me demonize you so I can win the argument with as little critical thinking/debate as possible. To them, it’s always “if you really care, you’ll come up with the same answer as me” nonsense.

      More taxes would solve the problem? Really? Why not look into the issues of how current taxes are spent or being allocated? Why not look into current spending patterns and their reports? How about cutting down wasteful spending to free up more funds? Do you really think there is no corruption or backdoor dealing going on? Do you think government spends every dollar of the people’s money exactly how it should?

      If you do, I’ve got property in Candyland to sell you.

      I’m sure everyone is onboard with keeping the bridge and wants to see it restored to its former glory. But raising taxes should ALWAYS be the LAST option. Holding our government accountable for being fiscally responsible is always an ongoing battle but should be considered FIRST when looking at issues such as these. And just because I disagree with your resolution does not make me any name you want to throw at me now.

  2. Joe Sonderman

    Missouri has one of the lowest gas tax rates in the nation and one of the lowest tobacco tax rates in the nation. Our infrastructure and schools go begging while we fund football stadiums and give tax breaks for millionaires. There hasn’t been enough to maintain those country roads for decades. We took over thousands of miles in 1952, which in hindsight, was a bad call. In other states, those are county routes.

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