New railway bridge opens for business, serving Amtrak's Missouri River Runner

Nov 26, 2013

An Amtrak train crosses over the new railroad bridge minutes after being opened for rail traffic at Osage City, Mo., on Nov. 25, 2013.
Credit Marshall Griffin / St. Louis Public Radio

A new railroad bridge over the Osage River between St. Louis and Jefferson City is now open for both passenger and freight train use.

The new bridge cost $28 million, with most of the funds coming from the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.  Federal Railroad Administrator Joe Szabo says the project came in under budget and ahead of schedule.

"We now have double-track running the entire stretch from Jefferson City to St. Louis, and delays caused by rail traffic funneling into a single track over the old bridge are now a thing of the past," Szabo said during a ceremony Monday at the bridge site in Osage City.

However, bottlenecks still exist between Jefferson City and Kansas City.  MoDOT Director Dave Nichols admits that finding money to eliminate them won't be easy.

"The funding that we have that comes from gas tax, sales tax on vehicles, and license fees can only be used for roads and bridges," Nichols said.  "So any funding that we do for projects like this either have to come from general revenue, or from the federal government, or from the private sector."

In addition to freight traffic, the Union Pacific rail line also serves as the route for Amtrak's Missouri River Runner between Kansas City and St. Louis.

Follow Marshall Griffin on Twitter:  @MarshallGReport

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