The Missouri Department of Transportation will present its options for the closed Gasoncade River Bridge near Hazelgreen during a public hearing at 4 p.m. Dec. 14.
The hearing will be held at Laclede Electric Cooperative, 1400 E. Route 66 in Lebanon (map here). It’s expected to last about two hours.
According to a news release from MoDOT:
No formal presentation will be made at the meeting, but MoDOT designers and engineers will be available to explain the proposed options for the bridge, which are:
1) Do nothing.
2) Rehabilitate the existing structure using either MoDOT or contract workers.
3) Build a new, standard bridge in the same place as the existing structure.
4) Construct a new, standard bridge nearby.
5) Build a connection between the north outer roadway segments using the existing bridge piers from a previous rehabilitation project.
6) Construct a new truss bridge (similar to the current bridge) in the same location as the existing bridge.
Employees with MoDOT’s Historic Preservation Unit will also be on hand to explain the federal Section 106 Process, which identifies historic properties, analyzes potential effects on them and determines what action will need to be taken to avoid, minimize or mitigate those effects. More information on historic preservation and the Section 106 Process can be found at www.modot.mo.gov/ehp/HistoricPreservation.htm
The fact the state is floating the option of repairing the existing bridge seems to be a good sign. Route 66 News noted in May many projects in the state’s 2017-2021 Statewide Transportation Improvement Program were designed to make improvements to the existing system, and a proposal for the bridge itself was a “rehabilitation and reconstruction” project.
The state closed the bridge in December 2014 after an inspection revealed unsafe conditions because of deterioration. Route 66 enthusiasts held a series of “Repair, Don’t Replace” rallies for the bridge.
The bridge also made Missouri Preservation’s Most Endangered Historic Places list.
According to Bridgehunter.com, the 525-foot bridge was built in 1922 to 1924 of three styles of trusses.
(Hat tip to Kip Welborn; image of the Gasconade River Bridge via Missouri Preservation)