Missouri Association urges people to contact officials about the importance of Gasconade River Bridge before March 31

The Route 66 Association of Missouri issued a call to action to write to state and national officials before March 31 to persuade the agency to halt the demolition of the closed Gasconade River Bridge near Hazelgreen.

The association put out this Facebook video a few days ago about its plea:

The association’s website also provided a list of people it wants Route 66 enthusiasts to contact.

Judy Wallmark, the association’s secretary, wrote:

Tell them you request their intervention to save this iconic bridge.   It’s important to our economy thru Tourism, it’s important to our history – and it’s important to you.  We’ve been fighting for over 5 years……….please help us NOW!

Here is the list of contacts:

Gov. Mike Parson
P.O. Box 720
Jefferson City, MO 65102

Missouri Department of Transportation
Patrick McKenna
105 W. Capitol Ave.
Jefferson City, MO 65102
[email protected]

Missouri Department of Natural Resources
Carol Comer
P.O. Box 176
Jefferson City, MO 65102 

State Historic Preservation Office
Dr. Toni M. Prawl
P.O. Box 176
Jefferson City, MO 65102
[email protected]

Missouri Department of Tourism
Stephen Foutes
P.O. Box 1055
Jefferson City, MO 65102
[email protected]

Missouri Department of Economic Development
Rob Dixon
P.O. Box 1157
Jefferson City, MO 65101
[email protected]

Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission
Michael T. Waters
P.O. Box 270
Jefferson City, Missouri  65102
[email protected]

U.S. Department of Transportation
Pete Buttigieg
1200 New Jersey Ave, SE
Washington, DC 20590

Route 66 Centennial bill sponsors
Sen. Tammy Duckworth
524 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington DC 20510

Sen. Jim Inhofe
205 Russell Senate Office Bldg
Washington, DC 20510

Rep. Rodney Davis 
2833 S Grand Ave. East
Springfield, IL 62703

Rep. Grace Napolitano
4401 Santa Anita Ave
Suite 201
El Monte, CA 91731

Route 66 Association of Missouri President Rich Dinkela earlier this month confronted the Missouri Department of Transporation with its contradictions and accused the agency of acting “in bad faith” over the association’s proposal to take over ownership and preserve the closed Gasconade River Bridge. He also said MoDOT had been inconsistent in how it is treating the bridge compared to other bridges formerly on the state system that preservationists have taken over.

MoDOT in February rejected the association’s plan for the bridge to eventually convert it to pedestrian and/or bicycle use.

State officials closed the nearly century-old bridge in December 2014 after an inspection revealed grave deterioration in the structure.

MoDOT later built a new bridge a few yards away from the old bridge and Interstate 44.

(Image of the Gasconade River Bridge near Hazelgreen, Missouri, in September 2014 by Indtrigg via Flickr)

4 thoughts on “Missouri Association urges people to contact officials about the importance of Gasconade River Bridge before March 31

  1. As I have said previously, the decision by someone or some people in the MoDoT to not just close the Gasconade Bridge to motor traffic but to prevent any other use for it, even for pedestrians, has been made. And a loss of face would be incurred if that decision was reversed. That is the crux of this matter, dressed up in the guise of some irrational insurance need, lest a walker fails to put one put in the front of another safely – something a child can do – and sues the department. Does the bridge belong to the people working for the MoDoT? Or to all the people of Missouri? Surely the latter.

  2. I just what to remember this lyric:
    “Don’t it always seem to go
    That you don’t know what you got ’til it’s gone.”

    Fred from The Netherlands

  3. Thought I would share what response I got in return from one of contacts from the list: On behalf of the Missouri Highways & Transportation Commission, thank you for sharing your concerns regarding the future of the Route 66 Gasconade River bridge.

    While the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) acknowledges the historical significance of the bridge, our primary mission is to provide a safe and reliable transportation system that benefits all Missourians and anyone travelling within the state. At a time when preserving the existing transportation system utilizes a vast majority of available funding, it is not prudent to expend resources on non-operative structures.

    MoDOT has worked with multiple organizations over the last six-plus years to preserve the bridge by transferring the structure to another party. At this time, no group has presented a feasible proposal to ensure the rehabilitation and maintenance of the bridge, while protecting the citizens of Missouri from further potential costs. MoDOT recognizes and appreciates outside groups’ continued efforts to save the bridge, but as history has shown, the preservation process is difficult and costly. Moving forward, under the guidance of the Federal Highways Administration (FHWA) and in accordance with historical preservation regulations, we are currently working with our consulting partners to determine the next steps concerning the bridge’s future.

    Ryan Libbert

    Transportation Project Manager

    Office: (573)522-5265​

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