MILLER COUNTY, Mo. — “Everybody’s concerned about the bridge,” said Miller County Presiding Commissioner Tom Wright. “We are too.”
Wright spoke with LakeExpo about the Auglaize Swinging Bridge in Brumley, which was closed on Jan. 6 when Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) engineers found a serious structural problem, related to the bridge’s concrete anchoring system.
“It wasn’t built for modern traffic… I think the vehicle traffic on it in the last few years has probably been the detriment of it,” Wright said frankly. No life is worth a bridge, and he said he understands the sentimental attachment to the iconic structure—a cable suspension bridge built in the early 20th century (Wright says the county actually has conflicting data on which decade the bridge was even built in) that has become a popular sightseeing spot for visitors to the Lake of the Ozarks area. “We certainly don’t want the old bridge to go either,” he said.
The more attention the issue gets, the better, Wright explained: “It’s going to be an ‘everybody get involved’ effort.” He said the county first needs an engineer—and a decision on how to pay for an engineer. Then they will have to determine what can and can not be done with the bridge, since it received a “National Historic Place” designation in 2020. The limiting factor will be money, though. “Ideally it’d be to build a new bridge beside it for vehicles, and leave this one beside it as a pedestrian bridge,” Wright said. “But that would cost a ton of money that the county doesn’t have.”
He is asking anyone with knowledge or experience working with this unique type of situation to contact the county commission at 573-369-1900.
Wright ended, “We want to make sure it’s done right.”
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