• The Katy Bridge will include a concrete floor.
• The ramp that is being constructed to meet the bridge is almost complete.
• Pedestrians will be welcomed on the bridge this spring.
• Bald Eagles can be observed from the bridge.
The concrete has been poured and the south approach is almost complete. Visitors will soon walk out on the Katy Bridge and have an intimate view of the Missouri River. This comes a little over six years after the bridge was saved from the wrecking ball. It was made known in 2010 that the Katy Bridge would be demolished, and its steel would be used to construct another bridge over the Osage River. This news caused an uproar, which prompted a group of citizens to take it in their hands to save this Boonville icon.
It is hard to believe that this project has been more than a decade in the making. By spring, pedestrians will be walking on the bridge, at least some of it, since the next phases of the bridge have to be fully funded.
Members of the Katy Bridge Coalition are hoping that when people get on the bridge more interest will flourish to help the bridge be fully realized. This will be the largest bridge on the Katy Trail, and in time, will be fully functional back to its original standards.
The iconic 1930s bridge will also be one of the best places to look at eagles according to coalition member Paula Shannon, who spearheaded the effort to save the bridge. Bald Eagles have been known to nest in the bridge vicinity allowing for easy viewing of these symbolic birds.
In fact, the Katy Bridge will be one of the few places to cross the Missouri River that allows for a non-congested and intimate experience of the river. Walkers and peddlers will not be side-by-side with traffic.
Much progress has been made according to coalition member Wayne Lammers.
“They are currently working on the ramp up to the bridge. While they still have quite a bit to do, they are now making tremendous progress,” Lammers said.
The rest of the bridge will take several million dollars to complete as the next phase progresses towards the lift span. This section of the bridge will be the most costly as it will be totally revamped to become workable again.
“The Katy Bridge, once rehabilitated, will be the “Crown Jewel” of the Katy Trail and will provide cyclists and pedestrians with a unique Missouri River crossing experience. The Lift Span Bridge will remain operational, with daily opportunities to view the raising and lowering, as well being available for private events rental throughout the year. A renovated bridge will improve the tourism economy for Boonville and also raise the visibility of the Katy Trail and Missouri State Parks,” according to katybridgefriends.com. “The Katy Bridge Coalition is a registered non-profit initially created in 2005. From 2005 to 2012, the primary purpose of the organization was to advocate for the restoration and rehabilitation of the Katy Bridge and to keep the Bridge in Boonville. Since the ownership transfer, the Coalition has focused on raising funds to rehabilitate the Bridge and ultimately to operate and maintain a rehabilitated operational lift span Bridge. The project will then serve as an expansive pedestrian and bicycle parkway, connecting two Missouri counties. The Coalition has an active board and hundreds of supporters throughout the world. We hope you will consider joining us by donating to our rehabilitation efforts.”
A ribbon cutting will be held this spring after the first span is complete.