KOLR – OzarksFirst.com

Fate of Jefferson Avenue Footbridge Discussed at Council Meeting

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — The city is getting closer to deciding what to do about the Jefferson Avenue Footbridge.

Tonight, the city hosted this meeting at the Savoy Ballroom on Commercial Street to talk about the project.

The council approved the $200,000 for structural design preservation of the 115-year-old bridge.

The iconic bridge shut down in March of last year after a weekly inspection revealed some structural concerns.

Since then, engineers from Great River Engineering have conducted evaluations on the bridge and gathered public input.

They presented five ideas for what to do with the relic from “doing nothing” to a “full replacement.” Estimated cost of a full rehabilitation would be $2.8 million and would require repeated rehabs ever 24 years.

The deficiencies identified in the evaluations included:  

• One of every three primary members (36.4%) do not have adequate capacity and need repaired or strengthened

• Six of the 10 vertical columns in the south approach need to be strengthened.

• The stairs on both north and south approaches need to be replaced. ADA accessibility also needs to be incorporated.

• The paint system is failing in numerous locations. It is recommended that the existing paint be removed to bare metal and that a three-coat paint system be applied. This approach to the rehabilitation will aid in impeding the corrosion and deterioration of the structure, thereby lengthening the life of the bridge.

Pedestrians can still use the tunnels below the railroad bridge and the streets to the east and west.