Rain or shine, the public is invited to celebrate the long-awaited opening of the Highway 47 bridge over the Missouri River Saturday.
The bridge will be open for the public to walk on from 1-5 p.m. Saturday. A program and ribbon-cutting ceremony will begin at 3 p.m.
• 7 a.m. — Fun run on the bridge is hosted by the Four Rivers Family YMCA. The bridge will close immediately after the run.
• Noon to 1 p.m. — Organizations participating in the ceremony will begin setting up.
• 1 p.m. — The bridge opens to the public from the south side. There will be no access from the north side of the bridge.
• 1 p.m. — Shuttles begin running from the riverfront parking lots to the bridge. There will be four shuttles, including a handicapped-accessible shuttle.
• 2-3 p.m. — Washington Brass Band will perform.
• 2-7 p.m. — There will be refreshments available for purchase at the riverfront hosted by the city of Washington. Available will be beer, wine, soda, water, hot chocolate, coffee, brats, hot dogs and chips.
• 3 p.m. — Bridge ceremony begins with speakers, including Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer, State Sen. Dave Schatz, State Rep. Bart Korman, Franklin County Presiding Commissioner Tim Brinker, Warren County Commissioner Hubie Kluesner, Washington Mayor Sandy Lucy, Highway 47 Bridge Committee Chairman Bob Zick and Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) Director Patrick McKenna. The master of ceremonies will be MoDOT Area Engineer Judy Wagner.
• 3 p.m. — An invocation will be given by Pastor Gary Schulte with St. Peter’s United Church of Christ. Area ministers are invited to participate in a blessing of the bridge that will be led by Father Joe Wormek, St. Francis Borgia Parish pastor.
• 5 p.m. — Bridge will close to the public and festivities will move to the Washington Riverfront for an after party.
• 6:45 p.m. — Fireworks display at the riverfront.
• 7 p.m. — After party ends.
According to MoDOT officials, the pedestrian walkway will not open Saturday. The public is permitted to walk only on the driving lanes of the bridge.
The event will be live-streamed to big screens at the riverfront. There will be heaters under the pavilion to help keep people warm. The event also can be viewed online at www.facebook.com/MoDOT-St-Louis-286948911751.
From 11 a.m. until after 5 p.m., Hancock and Third streets will be closed to traffic for shuttles. The Third Street access to the Mercy Hospital parking lot also will be closed.
Both the bridge and the riverfront will be festival districts, which means no pets, unless they are service animals, and no coolers.
Washington Fire and Washington Ambulance will be stationed at the south end of the bridge. Marthasville Fire and Marthasville Ambulance will be stationed on the bridge on the north side. Additionally, there will be several officers and deputies stationed at the ceremony site and at other locations impacted by the day’s events.
MoDOT will have flaggers on Highway 47, and the city of Washington will provide flaggers/traffic control for Hancock at Third Street, which is where the shuttles will travel toward First Street to Highway 47 to drop off attendees.