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The Jefferson Avenue footbridge at 201 E. Commercial St. is on the Missouri Alliance for Historic Preservation’s list of Places in Peril.
Photo courtesy CITY OF SPRINGFIELD
The Jefferson Avenue footbridge at 201 E. Commercial St. is on the Missouri Alliance for Historic Preservation’s list of Places in Peril.

Jefferson Avenue footbridge listed as endangered historic property

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The Missouri Alliance for Historic Preservation named Springfield’s Jefferson Avenue footbridge to its list of Places in Peril.

The more than 110-year-old bridge at 201 E. Commercial St. is one of 13 properties on Missouri Preservation’s list, formerly known as Most Endangered Historic Places. The organization’s list identifies historic sites and provides technical assistance, advocacy and planning support for the properties, according to a news release.

The city closed the 562-foot-long bridge — crossing 13 railroad tracks between Commercial and Chase streets — in March 2016, citing corrosion and the loss of steel in its northern support column. In January, Springfield City Council approved the use of $200,000 for the structural design phase of preservation efforts following a commissioned study by Great River Engineering Inc.’s Spencer Jones. Additional smaller funding is designated from the city’s 1/8-cent transportation sales tax, according to the city’s website.

Jones said options include demolishing the bridge, which would cost $410,000, up to a full rehabilitation to be repeated every 24 years. The second option initially would cost $2.8 million, according to Jones’ study.

According to Missouri Preservation, no formal vote was ever taken on the presented options. With its listing on the Places in Peril list, officials hope to bring attention to the footbridge and fundraising options, including the Save Our Footbridge Committee organized by the Commercial Club of Springfield. 

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