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Friday, February 05, 2010

Bridge saved for Katy Trail use

Bicycle advocates concerned about the future of the Katy Trail won a victory Thursday when Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon announced that the Union Pacific Railroad has agreed to give the old Missouri-Kansas-Texas (Katy) Railroad bridge that spans the Missouri River to the city of Boonville.


The Union Pacific had planned to tear down the historic bridge and use the scrap metal to build a bridge across the Osage River near Jefferson City. However, federal stimulus money targeted for high-speed rail servicein Missouri will be used to build the Osage River bridge. That meant meant the bridge could be turned over to Boonville, The Associated Press reported.

Groups, including the Missouri Bicycle & Pedestrian Federation, had feared that demolition of the Boonville bridge would have broken up the 225-mile trail corridor, making it vulnerable to legal challenges by landowners.

The bridge has not been used for at least 20 years, and Katy Trail traffic now crosses the Missouri River via the U.S. 40/Missouri 5-87 bridge. The old railroad drawbridge has been locked in the up position since its abandonment, allowing Missouri River barge traffic to pass.

The Save the Katy Bridge Coalition has been working for years to preserve the bridge. Take a look at the group's site to learn more about the bridge.

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