Gasconade River Bridge rehab costs estimated at $2.5 million

An engineering firm estimated it would cost at least $2.5 million to rehabilitate the closed Gasconade River Bridge near Hazelgreen, Missouri.

Sparks Engineering of San Antonio issued a 16-page structural evaluation of the historic Route 66 bridge, which has been closed since December 2014. The Missouri Department of Transportation has stated it would tear down the bridge next spring if a new owner isn’t found that would repair it., which obtained a copy of the Sparks report, quoted the evaluation:

Our evaluation found that the primary deficiencies in the bridge are the deterioration of the concrete deck and the inadequate bridge railing. The steel superstructure and concrete substructures require some isolated repairs (e.g. horizontal bracing gusset plates) but otherwise are in good condition.

In general, our recommendations regarding the structural rehabilitation of the bridge are:

— Replace the concrete bridge deck.

— Repair/replace corroded steel components, primarily occurring below-deck.

— Clean and paint the bridge. As an alternative, paint only the bottom-chord and below-deck structure.

— Replace the bridge rail with one that meets current standards.

— Repair deteriorated concrete at the piers and abutments, primarily occurring on horizontal exposed surfaces of the pier caps.

In the structural findings, the Sparks firm stated:

In general, our analysis indicates that the bridge has sufficient capacity for pedestrian/bicycle reuse once the deck is replaced and repairs are made to the steel, without the need for additional strengthening or structural upgrades. Our analysis found that the truss top and bottom chords are at their maximum allowable design capacity with the dead load plus full pedestrian live load cases considered. Therefore, we recommend the rehabilitated bridge include deck replacement using a thinner concrete deck or an FRP deck for pedestrian reuse. We also found that the capacity of the stringers is typically adequate despite corrosion in the top flange and they can generally be reused with limited repairs.

The full report may be found here.

Roamin’ Rich Dinkela, president of the Route 66 Association of Missouri, emceed a video Tuesday with a bunch of locals and Route 66 fans about the bridge. In short, Dinkela is advocating for Laclede County to take over ownership of the bridge.

The video contained instructions for those wanting to preserve the bridge:

Contact these important people right now! You must do this before July 2, 2019! Tell them how important this bridge is for Route 66 tourism within the county and how important it is for future generations interested in history! They need good positive feedback from you about why this is important!

County Commission: Joe Pickering 417-532-4897

Presiding Commissioner: Randy Angst

State Rep. Sandy Crawford: 417-733-2030

Tourism Nicole McGinnis: 417-532-4642

U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt: 202-224-5721 Assistant

State Rep. Vicky Hartzler: 573-225-2876 Assistant

Michael Meinkoth: 573-526-3593

Robert L. Reeder: 573-751-0473

Dinkela also put a sample letter on his website.

State officials closed the bridge after an inspection revealed grave deterioration in the 90-year-old structure. MoDOT is building a new bridge a few yards away from the old bridge and Interstate 44.

2 thoughts on “Gasconade River Bridge rehab costs estimated at $2.5 million

  1. Shouldn’t be any problem at all getting 250,000 route 66 fans to donate $10 to get here. Maybe somebody could start a go fund me page. Then sell the naming rights for $100,000

  2. Why the need to ” Replace the concrete bridge deck”, when the only use will be by pedestrians and pedal cyclists? How would the present deck be removed? Broken up with jack hammers – because it is so strong? Think of the resulting vibration, etc and how that would affect the steelwork. Or is just the safety fanatics worried that someone my trip on a bit of rough surface – and, being America, sue when it is their own fault for being careless? I suppose the current side railings present an invitation to climb them! So fine-mesh chainlink from deck level to the top of the side girders? How did we survive in the past?

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