SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) – The Springfield City Council will decide at Monday night’s meeting whether to apply for an $8 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation to fund improvements to the Ave. Jefferson in North Springfield.
The historic pedestrian bridge built in 1902 spans the train tracks north of Historic Commercial Street. The city closed the bridge to pedestrian traffic for safety reasons after a routine inspection in 2016. Design goals include rehabilitating the bridge and maintaining its historic significance. The city must also bring it into compliance with Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards.
Public Works staff informed the Springfield City Council of the results of a bidding process for the rehabilitation of the Jefferson Avenue walkway in December. The bidding results nearly doubled the cost of an approximately $3 million engineering estimate on the historic structure. A detailed structural assessment concluded that almost 40% of the bridge needs to be repaired or reinforced and that the paint system is failing and no longer protects against corrosion.
“Money is one of the things that has precedent here,” said Martin Gugel, deputy director of public works. “We’re trying to find the money and talking to our consultant and the folks at Commercial Street. We want to see if there are things we can change to reduce costs.
Gugel says the city is also reviewing the recent infrastructure bill passed by the Biden administration for any other funding opportunities.
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