State and local officials will celebrate Saturday completion of the first phase of restoration of the Katy Bridge over the Missouri River at Boonville.

The MKT Railroad Bridge over the Missouri River at Boonville.  (photo courtesy;

The MKT Railroad Bridge over the Missouri River at Boonville. (photo courtesy;

The bridge was built in the 1930s and local efforts to preserve it have been underway for years. Saturday’s ribbon cutting will mark work that will let visitors walk 250 feet over the River from the Boonville side.

Tourism Director Katie Gibson told Missourinet after about six months of work that cost around $900,000 in grants, tax credits, and private funds, the first span is ready for visitors.

“When you look at the whole scale of the bridge it’s not a huge section, but as you go out and you experience that part of the bridge you still feel like you’re quite a ways out onto the River and it gives you a really unique perspective that you just don’t have on the highway bridge as you cross the River,” said Gibson.

Gibson says the bridge is a big part of Boonville’s history.

“When you think of Boonville most people recognize that symbol as a part of our history and a part of our identity, so I think it was very important for a lot of people to be able to save the bridge and restore it and make it usable,” said Gibson.

More work will be needed before the full bridge is usable, and before it is connected to the Katy Trail. The next phase of work will focus on the lift section, with the goal of making it functional so that it can be lowered for pedestrian traffic and raised as needed for boat traffic. Failing that, Gibson said, the plan is to let trailgoers take elevators to the raised section and cross over while it’s up. The third phase would restore the span on the side of the River opposite of Boonville.