Bicentennial Bridge to the Island Moves Forward
Published: Monday, December 10, 2018 8:00 am
By: Randy Allen
As announced previously, private fundraising is nearly complete and work will begin to design and select a contractor for the Bicentennial Bridge to Adrian’s Island. After several decades of fits and starts to gain access to the 30 acres of land north of the Union Pacific Rail Yard, we will now complete the access project. A substantial gift from BJ DeLong and her late husband F Joe Delong II will make this happen. BJ and Joe were instrumental in visioning the idea of gaining access to the riverfront. That vision never died! Soon we will begin the selection process for a construction manager/contractor with a final selection scheduled for early January 2019. Design work, bidding and a final construction contract will be completed next summer. Construction of the bridge will be finished and ready for use in the fall of 2020 in time for the completion of the exterior capital renovations and the State Bicentennial celebration in 2021.
The Jefferson City Area Chamber of Commerce is taking the lead fulfill BJ’s request and we have agreed to manage the design and construction of the privately funded project through one of its subsidiaries. An advisory committee has been established by the chamber to assist with decision-making along the way. Mayor Carrie Tergin will serve as Chair along with Louis Landwehr, Bill Plank, Jim Crabtree and Diane Gillespie. A Gift Agreement between BJ DeLong, the City of Jefferson and Jefferson City Parks, and Recreation Foundation was approved on November 28th by the Foundation and on December 3rd by the Council. Funding for maintenance of the bridge and the galleries will be set aside from previously designated sales tax funds. Along with the construction manager/contractor, Bartlett and West, Inc. will complete the final plans and will be assisted by The Architects Alliance and Gredell Engineering; all of Jefferson City.
Fundraising will continue in order to establish visitor display galleries on the portion of the bridge over the railroad tracks. The Riverfront Access committee of the chamber developed this idea to solve the need for safety enclosures over the tracks and create a visitor destination along the bridge. Four “box cars” (visitor galleries) are contemplated and will be sponsored by businesses or institutions. One of the sponsors has been secured and three are still available at the time of this article. The Jefferson City Parks and Recreation foundation has agreed to provide funding for the project from ear-marked donations.
The proposed overpass will span the railroad and slope gently down to meet the existing ground elevation in the