OZARK, Mo- The historic Riverside Bridge will soon have a new home.
The bridge will be transported to the Ozark Mill where it will serve as an event setting and trail connection from the Mill over the river to the recently-announced coffee and ice cream shop leading to Finley River Park and the historic downtown square.
Back in the early 1900's, the bridge was initially located next to the Mill. A few years later, craftsmen determined the bridge was not wide enough to serve that location and it was relocated to its current site about one-and-a-half miles away. There, it attracted local entrepreneur Howard Garrison who selected the site in the 1920's for the Riverside Inn.
The bridge was labeled as unusable from flood damage and has been closed since July 2015. When plans called to destroy the bridge in the aftermath of the flood, area residents partnered with community officials to find a new home and preserve the structure through the not-for-profit Save the Riverside Bridge initiative.
The Ozark Mill site is currently being restored and developed by noted conservationist and Bass Pro Shops founder Johnny Morris. As part of the partnership, Morris and Bass Pro Shops will restore, relocate and install the bridge alongside the Mill. The new home for the bridge is in the same location where the infamous “Chadwick Flyer” railroad once crossed the Finley.
The City of Ozark has plans to link the bridge to its former home with a new section of trail, a portion of which was previously donated by Bass Pro Shops. The replacement for the Riverside Bridge is planned to include a bike lane, which is part of the city’s vision to develop Ozark as a destination for biking and walking.
The bridge is expected to be moved to its new location by the end of the year and installed following a review with the Army Corps of Engineers. The Ozark Mill is nearing its final stages of preliminary planning, with further plans and details to be announced very soon.
(Edited News Release)
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