BRUMLEY, Mo. – The historic 90-year-old ‘swinging’ Grand Auglaize Bridge is in danger of permanently closing after a lack of maintenance funding led to a ‘poor’ condition rating in 2018.
The 500-foot structure is one of six wire suspension bridges in Miller County and has no supports on its underbelly, causing the structure to sway back and forth. The Grand Auglaize Bridge was built in 1931 by Joseph A. Dice for $11,500, but cost estimates for its rehabilitation are between $175,000 and $360,000.
The bridge was placed on Missouri Preservation 2021’s Places of Peril List in October and must be renovated before it can reopen for vehicle and foot traffic.
On October 8th, 2020 the Auglaize bridge was designated to the National Register of Historic Places after the Save the Historical Swinging Bridge Organization submitted an application for the site. The designation gives the bridge the opportunity to receive grants for necessary maintenance.
Currently, the State Historical Building Safety Board (SHBSB) reports that they have raised an estimated $8,543 from silent auctions, t-shirt sales and benefit dinners to help cover costs for the bridge’s rehabilitation.
The SHBSB will be holding a fundraiser drawing for the chance to win one of three guns at their next meeting on December 16th at The Cave Pumpkin Patch in Brumley. The group is raffling off a Savage 93 F .22 5-Round Bolt Action Rifle, a Mossberg Patriot 6.5 Creedmoor .22, 5-round bolt action rifle and a Stevens 320 pump 12-gauge shotgun.
Tickets are available at Bink’s B&M Market, TLC Convenience Store, The Newcomb Hardware in Ibera and The Iberia Bar, all in Brumley. Winners of the guns must pick up their prize at Bink’s and meet all FFL and federal requirements to own a firearm.
Lake of the Ozarks Council of Local Governments has also been in contact with Sen. Roy Blunt’s office in an effort to receive ARPA funds to put towards the project.
For more information on the bridge’s history and restoration, visit the Save the Historical Swinging Bridge Organization’s website.