Last week, “Roamin’ Rich” Dinkela organized a rally at the foot of Route 66’s Gasconade River Bridge near Hazelgreen, Missouri, that was closed Dec. 18 by the state because of deterioration. The rally was designed to urge the Missouri Department of Transportation to repair, not replace, the 90-year-old bridge.
Dinkela’s efforts continued beyond the rally. He just published a sprawling story on his Hooked on Route 66 site about the issues about the bridge, including:
- Testimony from people who want the bridge preserved. That included not only Route 66 travelers from Australia, Germany, France, and the Netherlands, but locals who are concerned the bridge’s closing would hamper farmers and firefighting agencies.
- A consensus the bridge should be added to the National Register of Historic Places and repair it. “MoDOT has an opportunity to shine in the spotlight of the public if it decides to preserve this historical landmark. It is in the best interest of everyone to encourage MoDOT and the scenic byways program to find funding to save the Gasconade Bridge,” Dinkela wrote.
- A long list of state and federal officials that roadies should contact to urge the repair of the bridge.
- A list of supporting documents about the bridge and Route 66’s economic benefits.
- Another “Save the Bridge” rally for the bridge is scheduled for 3 p.m. March 14.
- Lots of photos from the rally.
Dinkela also put together a 17-minute video about the rally and the issues about the bridge.
UPDATE: And this showed up on YouTube just a few hours ago: