Jefferson Avenue Bridge Closed Down Due to Issues with Support Columns

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo.– At more than 100 years old, the Jefferson Avenue Bridge is one of the city’s oldest landmarks. Unfortunately, it’s starting to show its age. Kirk Juranas with the city’s public works department says it was last week when his team found the problem.

“There’s one location right there,” he said pointing out a small gap between two small metal pillars.

“Where you can see. In between these two angle irons. We’ve got a big spot where there’s no metal.”

One of the bridge’s support columns was found corroded.

“This was the one that our public works engineering staff thought was the one we needed to look at immediately. But with what we found there, we are going to look at the whole bridge and see what we need to do to keep it open,” he said.

But for now, it isn’t open.

The 114-year-old bridge is closing down starting Tuesday and Juranas says there is no telling when the restoration will be finished because at this point they haven’t finished finding all the potential issues.

“Right now anything I said would really be guessing. Cause we weren’t able to get under the truss and look at it,” he said.

In the meantime, the city has hired Great River Engineering to lead the bridges upcoming rehabilitation.

Spencer Jones with Great River says the bridge’s weathering might have come from… the weather.

“Whether it’s a pedestrian bridge or a vehicular bridge, water is always the enemy to those types of structures. Whether it’s concrete or it’s steel because of the corrosion that it causes,” said Jones.

And Jones says this amount of corrosion isn’t surprising, considering the bridges last restoration was in 1999.

“So typically what you’ll see is that for rehabilitation, usually those have a 20 – 25 year life period. So we are about 70% in to that lifespan. So it wouldn’t be unexpected to see some of these issues develop,” he said.

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