Postcard depicting Gasconade River Bridge welcoming visitors to Laclede County.

Talks continue between the Route 66 Association of Missouri and the Missouri Department of Transportation about the association assuming ownership of the Route 66 Gasconade River Bridge at Hazelgreen.

The Route 66 Association of Missouri board voted Feb. 22 to pursue ownership of the historic bridge and submitted a proposal to MoDOT on Feb. 28. The bridge was closed to traffic in December 2014 because of what MoDOT described as “extensive deterioration.” The bridge has been replaced, and MoDOT plans to demolish the old bridge this summer if a new owner isn’t found.

On Monday, MoDOT thanked the association for the proposal and asked for clarification on three items. The association replied today (Thursday) with details that are known at this time.

“We can, at this point, assure you and MoDOT that the Route 66 Association of Missouri is serious about taking ownership of the bridge,” the association’s response concluded. “We are serious about making that site as safe as possible, while preserving the natural beauty and integrity of the bridge. We are serious about pursuing development of a tourist destination spot.  We are serious about eventually being able to restore the bridge to its former glory.

“We cannot at this point, predict how long total restoration might take.”

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