EDITOR'S NOTE: An incorrect name has been corrected.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KMIZ)
Winding from the Gold Star Memorial to a plot of land beyond the railroad tracks in Jefferson City sits a bridge, not open to pedestrians yet — and now it will be a few more weeks before it's safe to use.
The Bicentennial Bridge is now scheduled to finish in late Nov. because of manufacturing issues with a steel cage.
The new date is only a few weeks after the late Oct. date city planner originally had their sights set on. The bridge sits outside the capital building and connects the sidewalk by the veterans memorial to Adrian Island, where a park will sit. The park is still under construction, set to be finished in spring 2022.
City Engineer David Bange explained to ABC 17 the delays were caused by a metal cage that will cover the part of the bridge over the railroad tracks. The cage had to be specially made to fit the curve and size of the bridge, which led to difficulties. There were also issues with the price of steel rising due to shortages in supplies.
"The start of the fabrication was delayed because of that, and there were some issues with the steel pricing because things become more expensive with COVID and shortages," Bange said.
Railroad tracks have long been a cause of concern in the planning and execution of the Bicentennial Bridge. The idea for the bridge was first introduced 50 years ago, but city planners could not fathom how to get over the railroad tracks. Now, Jefferson City Mayor Carrie Tergin said the tracks are an attraction. Funding came through thanks to the large donations from B.J. DeLong.
"It's just funny to think that trains were the barrier to getting across and getting to Adrian's Island, and now they're going to be kind of an integral part of it," Tergin said.
Tergin told ABC 17 the bridge would provide a much-needed connection to the Missouri River for Jefferson City residents and anyone visiting the capital.
"We are a river city that really hasn't had access to our river on the Capitol side, and so this is going to change that," Tergin said.
The park on Adrian's Island will include many unique attractions, such as the columns from the capital renovation, a life-size chessboard, and a dedicated hammocking area.