Riverfront bridge project progresses in Jefferson City


JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Plans to build a bridge in Jefferson City to improve riverfront access are advancing, according to Chamber of Commerce officials.

Union Pacific Railroad has given its approval for a bridge to be built over its tracks to connect Adrian’s Island to the city, and donor B.J. DeLong has pledged $1 million to develop the 30-acre peninsula, the News Tribune reported (http://j.mp/2e5LDdJ ).

Officials said the nearly $3 million project, called the Veterans Walk to Riverfront Park, will feature a nearly 830-foot bridge that would offer seven overlooks of the Capitol and the riverfront. The span will rise more than 25 feet above the six-track rail yards at its highest point.

The city and chamber are preparing a grant application of $400,000 for Department of Transportation funding under the Transportation Alternative Program.

MoDOT deputy district engineer Travis Koestner said the project would be competing for funding with four other regional planning commissions.

“This is a really good project, and the TAP is the right avenue for the city to follow in seeking funding to start and finish the project,” Koestner said.

The city will submit the grant application by Nov. 1 and will know the funding result in January.

Stakeholders were expecting a major grant from the Missouri Moves program at MoDOT about a month ago, however, the plan fell through when Gov. Jay Nixon stopped all those grants after the funding bills he vetoed were overridden by the General Assembly.