Location: Missouri

Boonville Katy Trail Bridge May Be Saved

The railroad bridge over the Missouri River at Boonville, Missouri, which was slated for demolition and salvage, may yet be saved, according to a story from the Columbia Daily Tribune (Stimulus may save Katy bridge):

History buffs and bicyclists who have long sought to save a rusty old railroad bridge as part of a state recreation trail could have a new reason for optimism as a result of the federal economic stimulus package.

The Missouri Department of Transportation is applying this month for $27 million in stimulus funds to build a new steel railroad bridge over the Osage River east of Jefferson City.

In a round about way, that could help preserve the Depression-era Katy Railroad bridge that crosses the Missouri River at Boonville, about 50 miles to the northwest.

Boonville Katy Trail BridgeThe bridge was built in 1931-32, and the last train crossed the bridge in 1986. The bridge is designed so that the 408 ft. center section of the bridge can be raised or lowered (to accommodate tall river traffic) in 70 seconds, using electrical lifting and automatic leveling machinery unique to the Katy Bridge.

If the bridge, which is on the Katy Trail right-of-way but not currently used, were removed, some believe that it would be a threat to the entire trail, since it would interrupt the railbanked railroad line.

Local groups and trail advocates, which had hoped to save the historic bridge and restore it as a functional part of the trail, now appear to have hope that the bridge will remain as an iconic landmark for the city, for the state, and for the Katy Trail itself.

Learn more about the issue: Missouri Bicycle Federation, Save the Katy Bridge Coalition.

About The Author

By Randy Rasa, editor/webmaster at Kansas Cyclist, the web's premier Kansas cycling information site, featuring authoritative guides to Kansas cycling clubs, bike shops, organized bike rides, touring, trails, and much more. [learn more]

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