Much effort is being poured into the design of the new bridge over the Missouri River at Washington. The bridge enhancement committee has been meeting regularly in an effort to make the design as unique as possible, and within budget limits.

There are limited options due to money that will be available for the project, but every effort possible is being made to make it “magnificent” and “iconic.” The committee would like for it to bear some likeness to the city, or be a reference symbol of Washington. That’s no easy task due to funding. But even with that fact in mind, committee members have been working with design experts to reach their objective.

Discussion has centered on the pier shape, lighting, number and location of overlooks, the pedestrian/bicycle railing, overhead pier elements, girder lighting and trail lighting.

Of course, the bridge must be functional in that it is easily accessible and safe for vehicles, including some wide farm equipment that will cross the bridge. Future expansion of lanes also is a consideration. But the real challenge is a design that makes the bridge stand out as a symbol of Washington and its historical roots. Undoubtedly, it will look somewhat like the new bridge at Hermann except that it will have enhancements that the committee hopes will make it unique.

The committee appears to have agreed on one overlook rather than two smaller ones. An overlook in the center of the bridge would be very popular with people. It would be a draw to walkers and bicyclists.

Construction is several years away. The committee will have enhancements prioritized in the near future. People await the recommendations with a great deal of anticipation.