Residents rally together to save local bridge

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BOONE COUNTY - Boone County and Callaway County residents rallied to save a historic bridge on Saturday after its surprise closure the week prior. 

The 106-year-old bridge runs between county lines on Route 389 and is a crucial access point for nearby residents to get to the city centers. 

MoDOT closed the bridge on Friday after finding a critical fracture in its foundation.

One longtime resident, John Lindsey, has lived on both sides of the county lines - Boone County for 33 years and in Callaway for 6 years. Lindsey said the bridge closing is a huge inconvenience for nearby neighbors in both counties. 

"My grandchildren are on that side of the bridge and I live over there now, and so this closure is really disheartening. If you're standing over here and want to go over there, with the bridge closed, it's 18 miles around and about 49 minutes time to travel the gravel," Lindsey explained.

"Our big concerns are about fire, safety and ambulances and different things like that- if somebody gets sick over here if somebody gets sick over there and they can’t commute cause this bridge is closed," Lindsey said. 

He hoped the Saturday morning rally would get the attention of the bridge divisions in both counties. 

"We feel like our tax money is just as good as hose guys in the city out here we pay the same tax base so our dollars should be used to fixed our road. And so that’s my thought on it anyway," Lindsey said. 

Lindsey said the community has been working to apply for a federal grant which would pay for 80 percent of the repairs. 

"We have grant money in place," Lindsey said. "It’s called FLAP, the Federal Land Access Program and we have our regional director here in Ashland working on it."

 However, residents say their mail goal is to have the bridge repaired as soon as possible to keep traffic flowing in the meantime.

"That’s our goal, trying to get them to come in put a band aid on it," Lindsey said."Get us by for 2 or 3 years till the grant money comes."

The grant application is due by December 15.