New Gasconade River Bridge reconnects Route 66 in region

The Missouri Department of Transportation on Friday opened the new, $4 million Gasconade River Bridge near Hazelgreen, thus reconnecting “eight or nine miles” of Route 66 interrupted when the old bridge was closed in late 2014.

The old and still-closed Gasconade River Bridge can be seen in the upper right.

Meanwhile, the president of the Route 66 Association of Missouri expressed optimism he and other members of the Gasconade River Bridge Guardians can land the grants necessary to buy the old bridge and turn possession of it over to Laclede County. Without someone to take over ownership of the bridge, it’s slated to be demolished sometime next year.

KY3 in Springfield reported that about 50 classic-car owners attended the new bridge’s opening Friday and drove across it.

“This is a new beginning for Route 66,” announced Rich Dinkela, the President of the Route 66 Association of Missouri and well-known social media promoter. […]
It marked the first time in five years Route 66 travelers do not have to get off the Mother Road onto Interstate 44 where the higher speeds might keep them from noticing sights such as the historical bridge.
“They were missing about eight or nine miles of Route 66 in the Ozarks that is just purely amazing,” Dinkela said. “Now that they’re off the interstate they can slow down and take the time to see the old bridge which they wouldn’t have noticed before had they not known it as a destination.” […]
“We have a team right now working on that,” Dinkela added in saying that the Guardians group was proceeding full-speed ahead in trying to save the old bridge. “We’re going after about a half-dozen grants, big grants, to try and get the money. So I’m very optimistic that we’re going to get this old bridge saved.”

A MoDOT official said rehabbing the old bridge would have cost about the same as building a new one, but the old bridge probably wouldn’t have handled the weight loads of large trucks and possibly buses. That section of Route 66 remains an emergency bypass in case an accident or disaster closes nearby Interstate 44.

Here’s the full segment on KY3. It’s quite good.

A 107-photo gallery from the bridge-opening event may be seen here.

State officials closed the bridge in December 2014 after an inspection revealed grave deterioration in the 90-year-old structure. An engineering firm earlier this year estimated it would cost $2.5 million to shore up the bridge for pedestrian and bicycle use.

(Image of the opening of the new Gasconade River Bridge near Hazelgreen, Missouri, with the old bridge at right by Larry Beck via Facebook)

5 thoughts on “New Gasconade River Bridge reconnects Route 66 in region

  1. As a matter of interest, when I tried to look at the “107-photo gallery from the bridge-opening event” I saw this:

    “451: Unavailable due to legal reasons We recognize you are attempting to access this website from a country belonging to the European Economic Area (EEA) including the EU which enforces the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and therefore access cannot be granted at this time. For any issues, contact”

    Just one more example of the non-connected world? Apart from the ever-increasing number of foreign items loaded with import tariffs by the current president of Usa, what else is restricted that is freely available within the European Economic Area? And what sort of photographic data in the gallery needs protecting? Or am I being protected from what it contains?

    By the way, what road is the one in use next to the new bridge? Is it Interstate 44? From the light amount of traffic it is carrying – with the old Gasconade River Bridge long closed – was the $4 million expenditure to reconnect “eight or nine miles” of Route 66 to the national road network good use of taxpayers’ money? Since money seems to be the be-all of 21st century living, has anyone worked out the value to Missouri busineses of Route 66? When will the $4 million be recovered?

  2. Several months after the entry into force of the GDPR, some sites remain deliberately inaccessible to IP addresses from the European Union. The difficulty (and the cost) is related to updating the software that administers the sites.

  3. Many thanks, Jean Paul. I looked forward to seeing the photos. Whose job is it to update the software? Someone in Usa or in the EU?

    1. That issue has to be addressed by the website in the USA. Route 66 News took pains a year ago to make sure the website was compliant with GDPR.

      There are plenty of Europeans who think GDPR is clumsy and overkill, but that’s another issue I won’t address here.

  4. Thanks, Ron, for the further info. Some Europeans do see the GDPR as overkill. Here in the UK, companies cite data protection regulations when they do not want to hand over information they are legally obliged to pass on because it may embarrass them. I’ve had that from a UK utility firm.

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