Jefferson Avenue Footbridge

Jefferson Avenue Footbridge, 201 East Commercial Street (C-Street), Woodland Heights, Springfield, Missouri

Jefferson Avenue Footbridge, East Commercial Street (C-Street), Springfield, MO

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Jefferson Avenue Footbridge

In the last post we visited Commercial Street in Springfield, Missouri. C-Street, as Commercial Street is known, runs alongside the railroad yards that were the origins of what was then known as North Springfield. At the east end of the commercial part of C-Street before the industrial part begins is the Jefferson Avenue Footbridge.  The bridge was built in 1902 allowing pedestrian and bicycle traffic to cross the 13 tracks of what is now the Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railroad.  It is believed to be one the oldest functioning footbridges serving rail facilities in the United States. With a span of 562-feet in length it is has the honor of being the longest footbridge still in use today.

As the footbridge approached its 100th anniversary, it became apparent that major rehabilitation work was required to preserve the aging structure. The City of Springfield partnered with the Commercial Club and the Urban Districts Alliance to obtain federal transportation enhancement grants and Community Development Block Grant funding to save the historic footbridge. The refurbishment cost $518,000 or $750,000 depending on which source you believe. It was undertaken in 2001 and 2002. Following its reopening, the Jefferson Avenue Footbridge was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in September 2003.

When I visited the bridge there was significant storm activity in the area producing some wonderful cloud formations, the like of which, being from Virginia, I had never seen before. These produced a perfect background to the white girders of the bridge.  The opening image looks north as you reach the top of the stairs from C-Street.  The second is from the north side looking back south with C-Street in the background.

Jefferson Street Footbridge, 201 East Commercial Street (C-Street), Woodland Heights, Springfield, Missouri

Jefferson Street Footbridge, East Commercial Street (C-Street), Springfield, MO

– Click on the image to enlarge or purchase –

Summary
Jefferson Avenue Footbridge
Article Name
Jefferson Avenue Footbridge
Description
Built 1902, the 562-feet Jefferson Avenue Footbridge is one of the US's oldest functioning and the longest footbridge still in use today.
Author
Publisher Name
Mark Summerfield
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