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      Missouri River Bridge gets pedestrian walkway

      After more than a year of planning, Jefferson City TMs Missouri River Bridge is getting a new pedestrian walkway.

      The Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission awarded the $6.7 million project to Fulton contractor OCCI Incorporated.

      The Jefferson City Missouri River Bridge already has a bicycle lane on the shoulder of the road. A safer pedestrian attachment on the bridge will give people a new and different perspective of the capital city. A ramp on the north side of the river will allow access to the Katy Trail. Access on the south side will be at West Main Street.

      It will be separating them from traffic with a physical barrier," MoDOT Engineer Eric Schroeter said. "I think people will feel a little more comfortable. We hope it draws a little more use from families and folks with younger children who aren TMt real confident riding in traffic.

      The new bridge attachment will be 8 feet wide. It will have two lookout points with a great view of the State Capitol Building.

      Jefferson City Fifth Ward Councilman Ron Medin said the pedestrian walkway will have two major benefits.

      The first is that it will connect Jefferson City with the Katy Trail. That should bring more trail users into the Capital City.

      Second, Medin said the walkway is going to be a Jefferson City landmark.

      I can picture parents and grandparents taking their child and grandchildren out to the middle of the pathway and looking back and seeing the Capitol Dome," Medin said. "Then, when they look down, they are in the middle of the Missouri River. I think that will be neat.

      Work on the project will force crews to temporarily narrow all three lanes on the northbound bridge. Construction begins next month. The project should take about a year to complete.

      MoDOT, the City of Jefferson, the Department of Natural Resources, and the Missouri State Parks Foundation are partnering to construct the project.

      More than $5 million of the funding for the project comes from the Federal Highway Bill.