Katy Trail Bridge Case Continues
Boonville officials are focusing on new reasons to keep the bridge intact, including national security. Bob St. John uses the Katy Trail every now and then. For him, the bridge means more than just a future riding spot.
"I think if any disaster happened, it would be a good idea to keep the bridge there cuz you could use it and it would be awfully hard to replace an existing bridge," St. John said.
That's one reason the city of Boonville wants to keep the bridge.
"It's actually about moving troops or moving supplies you know, anything that it could be used for in a national emergency from one end of the country to another," said Sarah Gallagher, Boonville Economic Development Director.
Bridge supporters also say the structure promotes economic growth in the area and has historic value. The Katy Bridge is divided into four sections spanning over 1200 feet in length. The last train to use the bridge was in 1986. Historic or not, the department of natural resources says the bridge belongs to Union Pacific and isn't worth the cost of refitting into a trail.
"The legal question is does the state of Missouri own a property interest in the bridge and the trial court in Cole county ruled that it did not," DNR representative Scott Jansen said.
The case is awaiting a decision from Missouri's Western District Court of Appeals. The case has been going on for more than two years now and can be found on Missouri's 10 most endangered historic places.