There aren’t any bridge engineers and/or architects who can please everybody with a new bridge design over a major river. The verbal fallout from the design for the new Highway 47 bridge over the Missouri River at Washington didn’t charm everybody. A rendering of the bridge was on the front page of the Weekend Missourian.
We didn’t keep an accurate score on comments heard. It probably was something like 60 percent negative, 30 percent favorable and 10 percent “I don’t give a river’s drop.”
“It’s silly.” “Looks like an afterthought.” “It’s slick.” “It’s sleek.”
“Looks a lot like the Hermann bridge.” “The arch in the middle is stupid.” “I don’t care.”
“The bumpout (viewing platform) for pedestrians and bicyclists is too small. It should be bigger and have benches.”
“It’s OK.” “The whole thing is stupid.” “Are there enough piers?” “Is the lighting adequate?”
A presentation on the bridge design was given at Monday’s meeting of the Washington Area Highway and Transportation Committee. There was criticism voiced about the overhead structure, that it didn’t look good since it was there all by itself, and that other overhead structures were needed. The comments are in this issue in a story about the new bridge. There also was praise and appreciation voiced for the bridge design committee’s work.
And the words keep flowing. A couple of things should be kept in mind. The enhancements must be within budget. There are limited options.
The bridge committee didn’t take the first design idea presented. Members wanted the design to be unique, something different, than say, the Hermann bridge over the Missouri River. There are many people who like the Hermann bridge design. Others don’t like it. The committee worked diligently with the design engineers, seeking something unique within budget.
The design presented may not be final, but it’s close. To us, the arch seems alone, lacking support, giving the design an unfinished look. If it is to stand alone, it needs some kind of supporting cables on both sides anchored to the bridge some way.
It looks unfinished now. The pedestrian/bike walkway is going to be very popular. Should parking be provided near the bridge on both sides, or on the south side, for people who want to drive to the bridge, park and then cross over?
The question we hear the most is, when will construction begin? The answer has been given repeatedly. The construction start will be in late 2016 or early 2017.
Yes, it’s definitely going to be built!