SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Cars stopped crossing the historic Riverside Bridge in Ozark in September 2010; then, in March, it was closed to foot traffic. On Wednesday, Ozark and Christian County officials, along with citizens hoping to preserve the old bridge over the Finley River, met in Springfield with the Missouri Department of Transportation to discuss the future of the bridge. They found out its fate all comes down to money.
Several different groups representing just as many interests came together to try to come to an agreement on one thing: the future of the Riverside Bridge, which was built in 1909 for a cost of $3,700. Some options include tearing it down and building a new one in its place, preserving it where it is and building a new one beside it, and moving it to a different location so a new one could be built in its place.
"They want a new bridge -- a new two-lane bridge -- and we want to keep the one-lane historic bridge," said Kris Dyer, who started the Save the Riverside Bridge Initiative.
Dyer and the city and county officials met with MoDOT staff members on Wednesday to try to find a solution.
"The engineers and MoDOT and everyone thought it was dangerous and it's deteriorating daily," said Christian County Presiding Commissioner Lou Lapaglia.