Jasper County officials on Wednesday marked the dedication of a new bridge on old Route 66 west of Carthage, Missouri, designed to resemble the 1922 bridge it replaced.
Above is a Larry Askren photo, via Facebook, of the new bridge as it was being built in September. The vintage Art Deco details were clear even then.
KZRG radio posted several small photos from the ceremony and of the bridge Wednesday.
“It had a unique concrete barrier curb,” Michael Atkinson, vice president of the firm, said of the old Carthage bridge. “We had to go through the process of historic preservation mitigation. The driving force behind it is to preserve what it looked like before.”
Although the railing on the new 48-foot bridge is faithful to the original, the span is several feet wider than the previous one, according to Jim Honey, a Jasper County commissioner.
A plaque from the 1922 bridge was saved and reinstalled onto the new bridge, just below another plaque commemorating the new bridge.
A county official told KSNF-TV the new bridge also is stronger and can carry more weight than the old bridge.
An image of the old bridge from 2013 may be seen at Google Street View below.
The bridge technically is listed as being at 19444 Old Route 66 Blvd. in Carthage.
According to data from a 2015 inspection at Bridgehunter.com, the 1922 bridge was functionally obsolete and was less than 18 1/2 feet wide. It spanned a tributary of Center Creek.
Give credit to Jasper County officials for making an effort to replace the old bridge with something that’s stronger and safer, yet conforms to the historic aesthetic Route 66 travelers expect.
(Image of new Route 66 bridge under construction west of Carthage, Missouri, by Larry Askren via Flickr)