It’s always a challenge: What to do with an old bridge that is being retired? The Highway 47 bridge over the Missouri River is coasting toward retirement. After more than three-quarters of a century on the job, serving millions of motorists, including farmers with their equipment, the Washington bridge will be replaced by a shiny, streamlined structure, sturdy with bulging pier muscles and expected to last as long as the one being retired.
The old structure has been a major player in the city’s history and its growth. It connected the north with the south. It has been an important link to Washington for people living in southern Warren County and southwestern St. Charles County, areas that have enjoyed commercial and residential growth. When school districts in those counties asked to be part of the Washington School District, the bridge already was there. Consolidation would not have been possible without the bridge.
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