From all indications the design for the new Highway 47 bridge over the Missouri River at Washington is settled. The special bridge enhancement committee will recommend to the city and the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) that there be no overhead structures on the new bridge.

That had been a point of controversy about the design — overhead structures, one or three, or none.

The committee’s recommendation also calls for keeping the enhancements proposed earlier, with the top priorities being a decorative railing separating the bike/walking path from the bridge deck, pier lighting and low-level lighting along the full length of the walking trail. The committee also agreed to include the girder lighting contingent on obtaining a federal grant for that enhancement.

Enhancements are great but it is impossible to obtain universal agreement on them, and, of course, the cost always must be considered. There was criticism of the one overhead structure in the middle, adding two more really didn’t help in pleasing people, so dropping them completely is a good solution. The bridge will have a smooth, even slick, appearance for the next 75 years after it is built in 2016-17.

The committee and all of the other parties involved did their best to obtain citizen input. Opinions were given, considered and a decision made. It’s a good decision. The important aspect of all of this is that we are going to have a new bridge that’s going to serve us for many years and it’s going to be safe.