Officials with Newton County, City of Joplin, and Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) were joined by business leaders and community members today as they held a ribbon cutting to officially open the new bridge over Shoal Creek.
Alan Cook, Newton County Commissioner, welcomed the crowd which included many involved with the project and citizens who have watched its progress this past year.
The $2.1 million project, referred to as Jackson Avenue Bridge because it serves traffic from Jackson Avenue, was a collaboration between the Newton County Commission, City of Joplin and Allgeier Martin and Associates. Newton County paid 80% of the project using a Bridge Replacement Off-System grant from MoDOT. The City covered the remaining 20% through its Capital Improvement Sales Tax fund, renewed by voters in 2014. Allgeier Martin provided design and construction management for the bridge. The contractor was Hartman and Company, Inc.
These organizations’ representatives joined the Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors in cutting the ribbon to signify the collaboration and completion of a project that serves many. The Jackson Avenue Bridge is 444 feet long and 44 feet wide with an 8-foot shared pathway on both sides of the bridge for pedestrians and bicyclists.
“This bridge is just one example of the partnerships and collaboration that exist within our area,” said Joplin Mayor Gary Shaw. “Joplin and Newton County both recognize projects like these are not only a great improvement for traffic efficiencies and the safety of our citizens, but also enhances the quality of life. It’s a great spot to experience the beauty of Shoal Creek and southwest Missouri.”
This bridge replaces the low-water bridge in McIndoe Park built in 1919, which has been designated a Joplin Historical Landmark. As part of the McIndoe Park trail system, it is open for pedestrians and bicyclists. Trails are located on both sides of Shoal Creek and as they travel to the east, trail users will enjoy a respite from the sun created by the newest addition’s shadow.