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MO City Looks to Preserve Historic Bridge

Thursday, April 12, 2018

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The City of Springfield, Missouri, is currently evaluating several options to rehabilitate its 116-year-old Jefferson Avenue Footbridge, which was closed two years ago after inspectors found corrosion on one of the columns.

Design options are currently listed on the city’s website, and public comment cards are being accepted through April 15.

Bridge Preservation

As it stands, one of every three members of the truss and towers does not have adequate capacity and needs to be repaired; six of the 10 columns from the south approach need to be strengthened; and both the north and south stairs need to be replaced, along with the addition of ADA-compliant accessibility options. The paint system on the bridge is reportedly failing in numerous locations.

Drowzy, public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

The City of Springfield, Missouri, is currently evaluating several options to rehabilitate its 116-year-old Jefferson Avenue Footbridge, which was closed two years ago after inspectors found corrosion on one of the columns.

According to the city’s website, Spencer Jones, an engineer with Great River Engineering, presented six different options that range from “doing nothing” to a “full replacement.” Doing nothing would cost $410,000 due to costs associated with demolition, and preserving the bridge would entail a full rehabilitation immediately and repeated rehab every 24 years. Initial cost is $2.3 million to $2.8 million, depending on accessibility upgrades and lighting. Rehabilitating the span itself is slated to cost $1.4 million.

Lighting options include rope lighting and targeted flood lighting. These additions would highlight the structure at night, and have color-changing options to coincide with seasons and special events.

ADA-Compliant Accessibility

Current north side design restrictions include limited space due to railway property and location of utility lines, and the likely inability to relocate these resources due to cost and timeline. Two options are on the table for the north side ADA-compliant design: an elevator, which would cost $330,000, and a 426-foot-long ramp, which would cost $630,000. The issue with the latter option, however, is that it must be combined with an elevator or loop ramp option on the south side.

As for the south side, an elevator, lift and stairs combination would cost $382,000, with an elevator, lift and original ramp reconstruction costing $560,000. As for individual ramps, the loop ramp would run $493,000; and the loop ramp plus rehabilitating the existing stairs would cost $749,000, having to be paired with an elevator or lift on the north side. Finally, a terrace/stage ramp would cost $683,000.

In late March, public works officials presented plans for the rehabilitation project, with plants to present its final design and funding plan to city council for approval.

"Public input is essential. This is essentially their structure. We work for them," noted Springfield city engineer Andrew Flippin.

"If we're trying to do something that they don't approve of then it's very difficult for us to go that route. It's essential from them to give us input on what they would like to see and that's the direction that we will try to proceed."


Tagged categories: Bridges; Design; Historic Preservation; Historic Structures; Infrastructure; NA; North America; Program/Project Management

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