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Updates in the works for Historic Jefferson Avenue Footbridge; City of Springfield accepting bids

Published: Sep. 24, 2021 at 2:32 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - The City of Springfield recently received authorization from the Missouri Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration to solicit bids to rehabilitate the Jefferson Ave. footbridge, which closed down from March 1-16 due to safety concerns.

The City has budgeted $3.2 million for construction and related engineering services for the bridge. City leaders will be accepting bids through 10:30 a.m. on Oct 19, 2021.

“We are looking for contractors, not only locally, but out of state,” said Nicholas Edelman, Project Manager. “The project is so unique and it is not something people deal with everyday so we are making sure we find the most qualified contractor.”

Around 80% of the money comes from the Surface Transportation Block Grants. The other 20% comes from other funding sources within the capital improvement and transportation sales tax.

The Commercial Club of Springfield raised $50,000, which also plays an important role in the funding for the rehabilitation.

The group has accepted donations toward the project through the “Jefferson Avenue Footbridge Fund,” organized through the Community Foundation of the Ozarks.

Springfield-based Great River Engineering has conducted an in-depth structural evaluation of the bridge since the closure and the new design will comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Project managers say it will provide equitable access once it is redone.

“About a third of the bridge has members that need to be strengthened and replaced,” said Edelman. “We plan on also making elevators so it is ADA accessible.”

The project will consist of two stages with completion projected by 2022.

“The first stage will give the contractor time to hire engineering firms, design the shoring, and to get their materials in order,” said Nicholas Edelman, Project Manager. “The second phase is 185 days and at most the project will last 365 days.”

The Jefferson Avenue Footbridge was the first of its kind to be built in Missouri in 1902. It connects the Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) rail yard between Chase Street and Commercial Street.

According to the city the project will repair the existing structure, which consists of 25,066 pounds of structural steel, removal and replacement of wood decking, installing two elevators, replacement of stairs, and lighting for the structure.

“The bridge is so important to the community because it connects the north side to Commercial Street. It is historically significant and it is the first bridge of it’s kind to be built in Missouri,” said Kristen Milam, City of Springfield.

To see the full requirements to solicit a bid to become a contractor for the bridge you can CLICK HERE.

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