Bicentennial Bridge. Bicentennial Year. Happy 200th!

by Carrie Tergin, Mayor, Jefferson City

How would you celebrate a 200th birthday? You would bring a gift, and it would certainly be a big one! 

So, let’s get this party started! It’s a year of fun and celebration! Plan your 200th party by visiting Missouri2021.org and check out the endorsed projects from around the state. The BIGGEST endorsed project is right here in #JCMO:  The Bicentennial Bridge project! This gift to the city and the state will commemorate 200 years and will be a place to connect the past to the present at the Capitol leading to the Missouri riverfront. Think of how the Mighty Mo has been part of our history and how our city ended up on the river. Think of the role the river played in transportation, recreation and more! 

Where would our community be without the vision of our leaders, like B.J. DeLong and the Adrian family, years ago? Their vision – a walkway bridge from the Capitol, over the railroad tracks, to a riverfront park – is becoming reality. We were a river city without river access from the Capitol side, but that is going to change! The bridge will be dedicated in August 2021, along with the Gold Star Families Monument which will be at the entrance of the bridge. The bridge is on track (actually, OVER the tracks) and scheduled to be completed Fall 2021.

The Bicentennial Bridge is a pedestrian/bike bridge from the Missouri State Capitol to the Missouri riverfront. There is currently no easy access to the river from the Capitol side, so this will open up the beautiful natural habitat and scenery along the Missouri River for all visitors. The gently sloping, ADA accessible bridge will lead to a riverfront park on “Adrian’s Island.” Upon crossing the bridge, guests are greeted with an open landing on the island. In this area and along the bridge, there will be interactive displays giving guests the opportunity to learn more about Adrian’s Island, along with panels on the bridge that tell the story of Missouri’s history. 

On the island itself, there will be nature trails and benches for the public to enjoy. The riverfront park will also have a life-size chess board and remnants from the Capitol remodeling, including columns that were once at the top of the State Capitol building. The island is around 30 acres and almost a mile long. Visit the Bicentennial Bridge website (BicentennialBridge.org) for a 3D walkthru video of what the bridge will look like! The overall fundraising goal is around $4.5 million, with over $4.2 million already raised. What a gift to the State’s 200th Birthday, the Missouri Bicentennial.

Imagine prom, homecoming and wedding pictures, captured along the bridge with the stunning view of the Capitol from an entirely new perspective. The new experience will provide an opportunity to discover native plants and the true beauty of the river. Envision walking or biking to a park on the riverbank, enjoying the tranquil surroundings with the lull of the water flowing and of the trains moving along the tracks. This will be a place to bring family, friends, and out-of-town visitors of all ages and abilities. The time has come to commemorate our state, the Capitol and the beautiful Missouri River and the Bicentennial Bridge is the perfect place to for a 200th birthday celebration!

Visit “Bicentennial Bridge” on Facebook!
#BicentennialBridge #AdriansIsland #Missouri2021

ABOVE:  Gov. Mike Parson and Clint Schelbitzki, Union Pacific Assistant Vice President of Public Affairs, unveil new concept art for a designed panel of the Bicentennial Bridge.

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