The Missouri Highway 47 Bridge Committee said it’s “open to ideas” for reuse of a portion of the current bridge, which is scheduled to be replaced.
Discussion centered around possible ideas on the reuse of part of the bridge, including what part of the bridge and how it could be incorporated into the community.
“If we don’t save any of it now, we’re never going to have it,” said Washington Mayor Sandy Lucy.
Committee members agreed that they’d like to see a portion of the bridge saved, but were unsure what piece or how to reuse it.
The group viewed a Missouri Department of Transportation slide show “Historic Bridge Reuse and Relocation: An Overview of Successes.”
Members agreed that it would like input from the historical preservation commission and from Darren Dunkle, parks director, because the saved structure likely would be placed in a park.
Lucy also suggested the possibility of saving the pier on the south end of the bridge that could be accessed via the riverfront trail. The idea, which also included benches and landscaping, was brought up by an engineer during the design phase for the new bridge.
Bob Zick, committee chairman, said he would look into getting a sketch on how the pier could be saved.
He also suggested asking MoDOT engineers what portion of the structure would be the easiest to save during the demolition process, as well as a time frame for the city’s decision on saving a piece of the bridge.
The committee also discussed saving the lights on the bridge.
The Lions Club contributed to funding the lighting on the current bridge and was formally asked where they would like to see the lights be used.
John Griesheimer, who is on the committee and a member of the Lions Club, said the club does not have a preference on what to do with the lights.
Franklin and Warren County residents are invited to view plans for a new replacement bridge at a public hearing Thursday, Dec. 5.
The public hearing will be from 4 to 6:30 p.m. at the Washington City Hall, 405 Jefferson St., in the council chambers.
Citizens can review the design plans and engineers will be available to answer questions during the open house. No presentations will be made.
Construction of the new bridge, which is in the latest State Transportation Improvement Program, is slated to begin in late 2016 and be opened to traffic in 2018.
The bridge will have two 12-foot lanes, two 10-foot shoulders and a 10-foot-wide bike path along the west side. A 16-foot overlook, where walkers and bikers can stop and view the river and cityscape, is proposed at the center pier of the bridge.
The new bridge, projected to cost about $55 million, including engineering and right of way. Funding is available for construction to start in fall 2016.
Approximately seven property owners will be impacted for the construction of the new bridge. The Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) in partnership with the city of Washington, Franklin and Warren counties have worked together to develop the plan for a new bridge.
This plan also is supported by the East-West Gateway Council of Governments and the Boonslick Regional Planning Commission.
The information displayed at the public hearing will be available on the project website, www.modot.org/stlouis.
Public comments on the information will be accepted through Dec. 19 by emailing MoDOT Project Director Shirley Norris at Shirley.Norris@modot.mo.gov or by mail directed to Shirley Norris, MoDOT, 1590 Woodlake Drive, Chesterfield, MO 63017.