New bridge to cut back on train delays

Bridge helps carry freight and passenger trains between St. Louis and Jefferson City

OSAGE CITY, Mo. - A new railway bridge crossing the Osage River is now open.

The bridge removes a bottleneck that was caused by two tracks merging into one to cross the Osage River on a single-track railroad bridge.

The new bridge, located in Osage City, offers double-track passage across the river.

The project cost $28 million, but Amtrak officials say it is worth the money because on-time performance is a No. 1 priority.

"Projects like this one that have improved the reliability of passenger rail to about 90 percent," said Derrick James of Amtrak.

The bridge is 1,200 feet long and is made up of 2,200 tons of steel. It was built by OCCI Inc. of Fulton.

"A Missouri job built by Missouri residents for the state of Missouri. It doesn't get any better than that," said Ted Kettlewell of OCCI Inc.

The Missouri Department of Transportation received a multimillion-dollar award under the Recovery Act, which funded a majority of the project.

Union Pacific paid the remainder of the project cost.

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