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JEFFERSON CITY – The Missouri Department of Transportation is once again looking for someone to take over the Gasconade River Bridge, located on historic Route 66 near Hazelgreen in Laclede County.

MoDOT had been in negotiations with Workin’ Bridges, a private organization that works to save old bridges from demolition, to take ownership of the 90-year-old bridge in its existing location. However, Workin’ Bridges recently indicated it had decided not to pursue the project.

That means the transportation department is once again looking for a new owner for the old bridge. Under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, MoDOT is accepting proposals through March 15, 2019, from parties interested in preserving the current structure.

“Due to liability issues and limited funds, we will have to remove the bridge unless an outside entity steps forward to take ownership of and maintain the bridge,” said MoDOT Central District Engineer David Silvester. “We know that’s not what folks want to hear, but it’s the reality of the situation. We are hopeful some entity will step forward with a proposal to preserve the existing structure.”

The bridge, which carries the Interstate 44 outer road and historic Route 66 over the Gasconade River, has been closed to traffic since December 2014 due to extensive deterioration.

This setback will not affect the plans for building a new bridge on new alignment adjacent to the existing structure. Bids for building the new bridge will be opened in April, and the project is scheduled to be awarded to a contractor in May. Construction is set to start in July, and MoDOT is expecting to have traffic on the new bridge by the fall of 2019.

Anyone interested in taking ownership of the old bridge can contact Karen Daniels, Senior Historic Preservation Specialist, at 573-526-7346 or Karen.Daniels@modot.mo.gov.

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