SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — The Jefferson Avenue Footbridge, a popular tourist destination in Springfield, is set to reopen after being closed for the past seven years.

The state of Missouri has announced that $8 million has been provided for the project and the city is now working on plans to use the funding for the bridge’s restoration.

Mary Collette, the president of the Commercial Club, emphasized the importance of the footbridge as a pedestrian access point from Woodland Heights and neighborhoods to the north.

The existing structure requires significant repair and reinforcement, and the existing paint has failed to protect against corrosion.

Initial estimates for the bridge’s rehabilitation fell short, with bid results coming in nearly double what was available back in 2021. However, after gaining access to funding through the Missouri Department of Transportation, the city of Springfield is moving forward with the restoration.

Many in the community are excited to finally see the bridge back in use, including Collette.

“We are thrilled and really anxious and excited. We’ll be planning a giant celebration,” said Collette. “We’re already talking about how we want that to look like when we reopen it and invite the community in to see what they’ve been missing.”

If the agreement gets the green light, the Public Works Department intends to open the project for contractor bids this winter.

The restoration of the Jefferson Avenue Footbridge is expected to bring new life to the area and provide a safe and accessible pedestrian route for residents and visitors alike.