The Missouri House of Representatives passed a bill Monday that would give Jefferson City a small portion of land for riverfront access to Adrian's Island.
Only receiving one opposition vote, House Bill 1838 — sponsored by state Rep. Mike Bernskoetter, R-Jefferson City — will go to the full Senate for discussion.
The bill proposes donating 0.19 acres between the Senate Garage and Veterans Memorial to Jefferson City for riverfront access to Adrian's Island. The 30-acre strip of land lies between the Missouri River and Union Pacific Railroad tracks, stretching from the Capitol to the former Missouri State Penitentiary.
City officials plan to develop the island into a park with a 826-foot bridge leading to it. To construct the bridge, which would go over the railroad tracks, the city needs the 0.19 acres of land, Bernskoetter said.
Jefferson City Mayor Carrie Tergin said she was pleased the bill made it over one hurdle and hoped it would continue its progress through the Senate.
"This is a very positive step forward for this project, and it shows the importance of being a capital city on the river," she said. "This will open up access to our beautiful river from the Capitol side, so this is very exciting."
The project is estimated at $3.2 million, and an ad hoc committee has fundraised about $2.3 million, Jefferson City Area Chamber of Commerce President Randy Allen said last month.
Part of that $2.3 million includes a $1 million donation from local philanthropist B.J. DeLong, with the condition the money be used only for riverfront development.
City officials currently do not have specific details on the potential park's features, Tergin said.
Residents have expressed concerns the area floods regularly. Since 2000, the island has flooded five times for a total of 22 days — 0.34 percent of the time — Todd Kempker, project manager with Bartlett & West, previously said.
Tergin noted permanent structures would not be constructed on the island nonetheless.