SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — It’s a Springfield landmark that the community is trying to save.
The iconic, 114-year-old Jefferson Avenue Footbridge shut down in March after an inspection uncovered problematic areas that could pose dangers is used.
Tonight, supporters gathered at the Savoy Ballroom to find out how to get the footbridge reopened.
Four options were presented to the public regarding what can be done to the iconic footbridge. The options come with a hefty price tag– ranging from around $414,000 to close to $3 million.
On an average fall day in Springfield, you’ll often find photographers snapping photos on Historic C Street. The footbridge is a popular attraction for that– especially for senior photos.
“It has a lot to offer,” said Springfield Resident David Riddle.
So it’s no wonder that the closing of the iconic bridge, that sits atop the railroad tracks, created plenty of controversy.
“Naturally, people are disappointed it’s closed,” said Springfield Public Works Director Dan Smith. “We wish we didn’t have to close it either– but it was a safety issue, and we couldn’t take the chance someone might get hurt.”
That’s why the city has come up with four options to try to get the footbridge opened back up again.
The options are..
1. To do nothing, and tear the bridge down– which would cost $414,154
2. To do minimal rehab– which would cost $2,299,500
3. To preserve the original bridge– which would cost $2,784,300
4. To replace the bridge– which would cost $2,997,300
“The bridge already has a lot of historical value.” said Riddle. “And economical value.”
Riddle hopes for the third option, preserving the original bridge.
“The current bridge is appealing to the eye, historical, different,” he said. “And it ties people together– and I think it can continue to tie people together.”
The city continues to gather input from the public, as it works toward a resolution.
“We understand the frustration– we want to get it open, too,” said Smith. “And we ask people to be patient as we work through this process.”
Funding for whichever option is chosen has not yet been identified.
There will be a follow up meeting on November 17 in an open house format, where people can ask questions.
That meeting will be held from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at White River Brewing Company.