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Route 66 News

Officials dedicate restored Front Street Bridge in Galena

Front Street Bridge, Galena Viaduct

From left, Brad Nickson, Oklahoma Route 66 Association; Renee Charles, Kansas Historic Route 66 Association; Dale Oglesby, Galena Mayor; Pat Collins, Cherokee County Commissioner; Lance Nichols, Galena City Councilman; Neil Anderson, Cherokee County Commissioner; and Tommy Pike, Route 66 Association of Missouri, help cut the ceremonial ribbon on the Front Street Bridge.

Officials from Galena, Kansas, and the neighboring states of Oklahoma and Missouri attended a ceremony Saturday to mark the restoration of the historic Front Street Bridge in Galena

Work on the bridge was finished in early July. Cherokee County received a Community Development Block Grant last year for the repairs, and the county covered the other half of the $387,000 project.

Work began in April. The Front Street Bridge, built in the 1920s, is the oldest still maintained by the county. Not only did the bridge serve as Route 66 for many years, it was a key link to local lead and zinc mines.

The bridge’s pillars and support structure also were repaired in 2010, partly with a grant from the Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program.

The dedication event also featured classic cars, food trucks, live music and fireworks.

According to an Associated Press article before the dedication, the top of the bridge was repaved with a sand finish to resemble the bridge’s original color. Waste from lead and zinc mines was used in the original roadbed.

Galena Mayor Dale Oglesby said the bridge was “the best project since we did downtown” — referring to beautification efforts in Galena’s Main Street, aka old Route 66, a few years ago.

The Front Street Bridge, also called the Galena Viaduct, sits just a short distance from Cars on the Route and Galena’s downtown. Cars on the Route features Tow Tater, a 1951 International boom truck that served as the direct inspiration of Tow Mater in Disney-Pixar’s “Cars” films. Other elements in Galena, such as faded advertisement on a brick wall on Main Street, also inspired the Pixar crew.

(Images from the dedication ceremony courtesy of Renee Charles)

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6 thoughts on “Officials dedicate restored Front Street Bridge in Galena

  1. Bob

    Is that brick wall that you’re talking about on Main Street on the Front Street Garage, which was purchased a few years ago, and is currently being restored?

      1. Bob

        I’ve been following that page and the progress, and I’m sure that anything of this magnitude isn’t an overnight process. Can almost guarantee, also, that the owner is not local?

        Hey, at least another building along the Route is being saved…can’t complain about that, right?! 😉

      2. Bob

        Wow…I bet it’s hot there in the desert! I was not aware that Ed also owned the other page along with the Front Street Garage Facebook page. I’ll have to add that to my circulation of Route related pages! Thanks for the insight… 🙂

  2. Pingback: Grant gives go-ahead to study imperiled Route 66 bridges, rank them for preservation – Classic Cars Events

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