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Fundraising Goal Met for Jefferson Avenue Footbridge

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Michele Skalicky
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Commercial Club of Springfield has met its $50,000 fundraising goal to support efforts to rehabilitate the Jefferson Avenue Footbridge on historic C-Street.  The Jefferson Avenue Footbridge Fund was established last year at the Community Foundation of the Ozarks.

The 116-year-old footbridge was closed March 1, 2016 after Springfield Public Works inspectors found corrosion and steel loss in the north support column, according to the City of Springfield. 

Public Works hired Great River Engineering (GRE), a Springfield-based civil engineering firm with experience in bridge rehabilitation, to conduct an in-depth structural evaluation of the Footbridge.

The public had a chance to learn about GRE’s findings and provide input during public open houses. 

According to city officials, the project is currently under review by the State Historic Preservation Office and various consulting groups through the section 106 process with meetings to take place sometime in mid-April. After that, final engineering design of the rehabilitation will be completed before placing the project up for bid.  

The estimated $2.5 million project is expected to begin near the end of 2019 and be completed by the end of 2020.

Donors who helped meet the Commercial Club’s goal had the option of purchasing memorial pavers, which will be installed in the Footbridge Plaza area of the project.  The pavers continue to be sold at historicCstreet.com

The Jefferson Avenue Footbridge was built in 1902 and is on the National Register of Historic Places. The 562-foot-long bridge allows pedestrians to cross 13 tracks of the Burlington Northern rail yard from Chase Street to Commercial Street.

Michele Skalicky has worked at KSMU since the station occupied the old white house at National and Grand. She enjoys working on both the announcing side and in news and has been the recipient of statewide and national awards for news reporting. She likes to tell stories that make a difference. Michele enjoys outdoor activities, including hiking, camping and leisurely kayaking.