Historic Jefferson Avenue Footbridge Rehabilitation

Engineers from Great River Engineering began conducting an in-depth evaluation of the Jefferson Avenue Footbridge June 1. This evaluation will include a full review of the structural integrity of the bridge.

The pedestrian bridge closed March 1 after a weekly inspection revealed corrosion and steel loss in the north support column. Public Works brought in experts from Great River Engineering to do an initial evaluation of the column. While the bridge was not in imminent danger, it was deemed in the best interest of the public to close the bridge to conduct a full evaluation and determine repair options.

The bridge has remained closed as Public Works has worked with MoDOT bridge experts to develop the in-depth evaluation contract. Public Works has now secured a $160,000 contract with Great River Engineering to move forward with the in-depth evaluation.
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Great River Engineering estimates it will need approximately six weeks to extensively review the bridge’s structural integrity, followed by an additional 10 weeks of data analysis. The City expects a full report of Great River’s findings and rehabilitation options for the bridge by fall. Public Works will then develop construction plans to restore the bridge. That design process could take at least four months, followed by a possible six-month construction time. City staff are already exploring funding options for the project. 

It is the commitment of Public Works staff to do everything possible to restore the Jefferson Avenue Footbridge so it is safe for the public and preserved for future C-street visitors to enjoy. While all parties involved are working diligently, the process of rehabilitating a 114-year-old, historic bridge involves many variables. If timely funding is secured, it is the City’s goal to have the bridge open again by fall of 2017. 

Alternative Pedestrian Routes:

North Washington Avenue east of the footbridge and North Lyon west of the footbridge offer alternate routes for pedestrians to access the Woodland Heights neighborhood from Commercial Street. Both streets offer pedestrian tunnels under the railroad bridges that allow pedestrians to cross safely.