The closure of the Gasconade River bridge in Laclede County that is part of historic Route 66 has prompted a group of concerned citizens to rally behind an effort to save the structure from being destroyed.
The group gathered on Tuesday as part of an effort to persuade the state to preserve the bridge.
The group of more than 25 represented not only local interest, but drew participants from Iowa and Oklahoma.
Route 66 advocates hope the state will look at alternatives to destroying the bridge.
The Missouri Department of Transportation has closed the bridge over the Gasconade River along the Interstate 44 outer road in Laclede County after a recent inspection determined the bridge was unsafe for travel. The bridge will remain closed until further notice.
The announcement was made last week.
"We found enough issues with the 90-year-old bridge to decide the safest thing to do was to close it to travel," said MoDOT Central District Bridge Engineer Alan Trampe.
MoDOT's Central District Engineer David Silvester said, "one of the big concerns with closing this bridge is that it's located on the route we use to detour traffic off of I-44 when there's an incident. We'll work over the next few weeks to determine what repairs need to be made to reopen the bridge, if that's even possible."
The majority of the state's bridges are routinely inspected in late fall and winter. The average Missouri bridge is 46 years old, but most were designed for a 50-year life.
 A complete list of unplanned bridge closures throughout the state can be found on MoDOT's website at http://www.modot.org/. Included on the page are inspection photos, the reason for the bridge closure, corrective actions to be taken and how they will be paid for, a map of the bridge location and recommended detours by way of state highways.
"With the large number of bridges we have in Missouri, all of which are aging every day, and with our construction budget continuing to decline, it's likely we will see more closures in the future," Silvester said.