- Associated Press - Monday, April 4, 2016

BOONVILLE, Mo. (AP) - Hundreds of people from Boonville and beyond have gathered at a former railroad bridge to celebrate its resurrection as part of a state park.

The Columbia Daily Tribune (https://bit.ly/1Vq2DYV ) reports that Boonville Mayor Julie Thacher, Columbia Mayor Darwin Hindman and Gov. Jay Nixon participated in the short ceremony with a crowd of about 400 at Katy Trail State Park on Saturday.

The celebration recognized the first phase of the MKT Railroad bridge rehabilitation, which cost about $900,000 with a combination of city revenue, federal block grant funds and private donations. Visitors can now walk about a third of the way across the Missouri River for up- and downstream views, as well as a close-up look of the lift span.

Katy Bridge Coalition executive director Paula Shannon said a similar walkway will be built on the Howard County side and the bridge will eventually lift regularly. The project is estimated to be $3.4 million total.

Wayne Lammers recorded the train’s last ride across the bridge in May 1986. The five-minute video explores the bridge, built in 1932, and shows off the 408-foot lift span before cutting to the locomotive. Lammers’ friend Dennis Huff, the railroad engineer, waves his arm out the window as the 16 tanker, gondola and hopper cars pass.

“It is nice to see a piece of history be preserved and put to some useful purpose,” Huff said before the festivities began.

Lammers echoed Huff’s sentiments.

“It is a glorious day,” Lammers said. “It is one we have been working toward for years and years.”


Information from: Columbia Daily Tribune, https://www.columbiatribune.com

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