Governor breaks ground for new railroad bridge

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Missouri News Horizon
– Gov. Jay Nixon has broken ground for a new bridge that should help the flow of passenger rail traffic across the state.

The new bridge on the Union Pacific rail lines across the Osage River east of Jefferson City will alleviate the last bottleneck along the line between Jefferson City and St. Louis by the end of 2013. Currently, trains along the line are funneled from two tracks down to one to cross the Osage in eastern Cole County, at times creating delays for freight and passenger trains alike.

Ridership on Amtrak trains between St. Louis and Kansas City has risen sharply in the last year. MoDOT and Amtrak officials say that’s because the trains run on time more often than in the past, due for the most part to laying of more tracks and more sidings that give the passenger trains more miles to operate without having to wait for other trains.

The $20 million project is already underway, and is scheduled for completion in late 2013. At the groundbreaking ceremony Thursday morning, Nixon said the project would not only help the flow of rail traffic, but also create jobs.

“This bridge will help spark new jobs and economic growth in Missouri, both during its construction and as it helps move passengers and freight across Missouri more efficiently, more safely, and in greater numbers for many years to come,” said Nixon. “Construction and expansion of vital infrastructure will continue to play a large role in creating jobs and boosting our economy”. 

Funding for the bridge came from the federal government during the economic stimulus program.