It took $25.7 million to fund it.
It took three years to build it.
Before that, it took a massive letter-writing campaign from residents of three states to get the project off the ground.
The new Missouri River bridge at Rulo has been opened for traffic, modern traffic. An aging structure has been replaced with a modern bridge that can handle big rigs and modern agricultural equipment.
Tri-State Corridor Alliance Co-Chair Charlie Radatz led a coalition of citizens from Nebraska, Missouri, and Kansas to lobby Congress and the state legislatures to fund construction. Falls City hotel owner Mitch Glaeser coordinated a letter-writing campaign that eventually sent approximately 1,600 letters to members of Congress and state legislatures, making the case for the new bridge.
The new bridge replaces a bridge built by the Works Progress Administration. Construction began in 1938. A dedication ceremony for the old bridge was held on December 19th, 1939. The Nebraska Department of Roads will let bids in September to demolish the old bridge which had its day in the sun. It landed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1993 after being featured in the move “Paper Moon” and the BBC series “Stephen Fry in America.”
Matthew Leaf, KTNC, contributed to this story.