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MoDOT seeks owner for Gasconade River Bridge

The Missouri Department of Transportation is searching for a new owner to take over the Gasconade River Bridge on historic Route 66 near Hazel Green in Laclede County. (Photo courtesy of Google Maps)

The Missouri Department of Transportation is searching for a new owner to take over the Gasconade River Bridge on historic Route 66 near Hazelgreen in Laclede County.

MoDOT had been in negotiations with Workin' Bridges, a private organization that works to save old bridges. Workin' Bridges has recently decided not to take ownership of the 90-year-old bridge leaving MoDOT to search for a new owner or risk removing the historic site.

Under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, MoDOT is accepting proposals through March 15, 2019 from parties interested in preserving the structure, according to a MoDOT news release.

"Due to liability issues and limited funds, we will have to remove the bridge unless an outside entity steps forward to take ownership of and maintain the bridge," MoDOT Central District Engineer David Silvester said.

"We know that's not what folks want to hear, but it's the reality of the situation"

Silvester expressed in the news release that he is hopeful someone will volunteer to preserve the structure.

The bridge, which carries Interstate 44 outer road and historic Route 66 over the Gasconade River, has been closed since December 2014 due to extensive deterioration.

The lack of an owner does not affect plans for building a new bridge on new alignment adjacent to the existing structure. Bids for building the new bridge will be opened in April and scheduled to have a contractor in May. Construction is set to begin in July and MoDOT expects to have traffic on the new bridge by Fall 2019.

Anyone interested in taking ownership of the Gasconade River Bridge can contact Senior Historic Preservation Specialist Karen Daniels at 573-526-7346 or Karen.Daniels@modot.mo.gov.

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