WASHINGTON, Mo. – The Missouri River bridge, located between Jefferson City and St. Louis, links Warren County to the north and Franklin County to the south.
The bridge, built in 1936, has narrow lanes, no shoulders, restrictive weight limits and requires a regular cycle of maintenance work, according to the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT).
MoDOT, along with the City of Washington, Warren County, Franklin County, the East-West Gateway Council of Governments and the Boonslick Regional Planning Commission, partnered together to replace the deteriorating bridge and provide safer and more efficient travel between the two counties. Construction on the $63 million project began in August 2016.
The new bridge will have 12-foot lanes and 10-foot soldiers on the inside and outside. There will also be a 10-foot bike and pedestrian path.
Before the new Route 47 Missouri River Bridge is open to traffic, the public will get a chance to view it on Saturday, Dec. 1st from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm. A ribbon cutting ceremony on the bridge will begin at 3:00 pm.
Local, state and federal officials will be on hand to cut the ribbon.
“MoDOT is excited to be a part of this historic moment for the community,” Judy Wagner, MoDOT Franklin/Jefferson County Area Engineer said. “We know how important this connection is to the two communities on either side of the river and we look forward to the new bridge opening.”
In addition to the public bridge event, the Four Rivers Family YMCA will host a run on the morning of Dec. 1st, which will cross the new bridge.
“We are really excited about the new bridge opening. There are a lot of events happening throughout the day, but our event gets to kickstart the morning at 7:00 am,” Becky Cox, executive director of Four Rivers Family YMCA said. “It’s been great to work with MoDOT and our city administrators to give this free event to the community.”
Cox said that they have received a lot of interest for the event and everyone is looking forward to seeing the new, beautiful bridge.
“Let’s just hope that we have good weather,” Cox said.
MoDOT announced that animals, coolers, bicycles or other wheeled devices (with the exception of wheelchairs and strollers) will not be allowed on the bridge during the public event. Parking will be available at the Washington riverfront, with buses available to shuttle people to the bridge. There will be limited street parking around the bridge and some street closures for safety and no public access to the bridge from the Warren County side of the river.
After the ceremony, the City of Washington will host a party on the riverfront, providing the community with refreshments and fireworks.
The bridge is expected to open to traffic the week of Dec. 3rd, weather permitting. MoDOT reported that although it will be open this year, demolition of the current bridge and final touches to the new bridge will continue into mid-2019.