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Rehabilitation of Jefferson Avenue Footbridge put on hold

Michele Skalicky

The historic bridge was closed in 2016 due to safety concerns.

The Jefferson Avenue Footbridge, which crosses 13 tracks of the Burlington Northern-Santa Fe rail yard between Commercial and Chase Streets, was built in 1902.

According to city officials in Springfield, only two companies submitted bids for the project to rehabilitate the bridge, and they were double the cost of the nearly $3 million that had been estimated.

The bridge, over the railroad tracks off Commercial Street, was closed in 2016 due to safety concerns. A structural evaluation found that 40 percent of the bridge needs to be repaired or strengthened, and the paint system is failing and is no longer protecting against corrosion. The project will make the bridge ADA compliant.

Planned funding sources for the project included 80 percent from federal Surface Transportation Block Grant Funds, administered by MODOT. Because of that MODOT must review and concur with the awarding of a bid on the project, according to the city. The organization decided not to award the project to either of the companies that bid.

More research will be done before potential rebidding of the project at a later date.

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.