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Preservation Group Nears Owning MO Bridge

Friday, April 5, 2019

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A Missouri-based bridge preservation group is one step closer to owning a span that was originally slated for demolition, according to reports. What remains is raising funds for rehabilitation work for the next five years.

The Little Niangua River Bridge, which runs over the river of the same name in Camden County, Missouri, is a self-anchored suspension bridge, the fourth one built in the U.S. in 1932. According to news station KY3, the other three are all located in Pittsburgh.

Structure History

Bridge preservation group Green's Mill Historical Bridge Inc. notes on its website that in 1931, Camden County approached the Missouri State Highway Department about building the structure. The agency agreed and touched base with John A. Roebling’s Sons Company, of Trenton, New Jersey, about construction. Work began in early August and finished the following March. Clinton Bridge Works (Clinton, Iowa) served as general contractor on the project.

The main span is 225 feet long, and the deck is 20 feet wide. The bridge was last closed in 2007 for emergency repairs.

"This bridge had worldwide engineering significance," Matt Gaddy, Bridge Maintenance Chairman for Green's Mill Historical Bridge Inc., told KY3.

Preservation Efforts

Last summer, Lonetta Bartell formed Green's Mill Historical Bridge Inc., worked on a feasibility study for the Missouri Department of Transportation on how those in the group would like to see the structure preserved. Previously, Bartell had been warned that the structure was slated for demolition. MoDOT later informed her that the structure was up for adoption. The group gave the feasibility study to MoDOT in October.

The state transportation department, along with the Missouri Federal Highway Administration, approved the plan, which aims to turn the structure into a pedestrian walkway, late last month.

Moving forward, MoDOT must also see commitments for five years of bridge preservation and rehabilitation, which will cost roughly $87,000. Once that requirement has been met, the state transportation department will transfer the $207,000 originally earmarked for the bridge’s demolition into an escrow or capital account, funding that will be used for the long-term maintenance of the bridge.

Bartell told Lake News Online that the group plans to carry out a number of rehab projects on the bridge, which include new paint and universally accessible walkways. There are also plans to do a yearly membership drive, along with other fundraising initiatives.


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

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