The Naught family, well-known in Jefferson City for their local businesses and community involvement, has donated $75,000 to the Bicentennial Bridge project.
"On behalf of the Naught family, we are thrilled to be able to make this contribution to this wonderful project," Tom Naught said in a news release. "The bridge will be part of our beautiful downtown for many, many years to come. It enhances the Capitol grounds and in turn will bring more people to our community. I would like to thank Mrs. B.J. Delong, the Delong family, Mayor (Carrie) Tergin and the Bicentennial Bridge committee for all the years and years of hard work to make this happen."
Tergin, who has long been a supporter of the project, shared her gratitude for the donation.
"The entrance to the Bridge will honor our veterans and when the Naught family learned of this, they knew they wanted to be a part of it," Tergin said in the news release. "Thank you to the Naughts for having a place in your heart for the Bicentennial Bridge and for veterans, and we deeply appreciate your support of this project."
The project, which will cost $3.75 million to build, is close to beginning construction and is planned to be completed by the state bicentennial in August 2021.
In June, the Jefferson City Council approved a contract for $3,752,768 with Phillips Hardy Inc., of Columbia, for construction of the bridge.
The bridge will span the Union Pacific Railroad tracks to an area known as Adrian's Island — 30 acres of forest and wetlands that lies between the Missouri River and the tracks that stretches about 1 mile from the Capitol to the former Missouri State Penitentiary.
The 12-foot-wide bridge will be accessible for pedestrians and bicycles, and will span from the Capitol Complex to the island, which will be developed into an outdoor recreation area with walking trails.
Originally, the bridge was going to have a rail car design to tie it into the railroad it will span, but the expense of the design caused planners to reconsider. The bridge will now have a more simple, open design to give views of the Capitol and Missouri River.
Construction of the bridge is set to begin in late summer or fall 2020 and will be completed by August 2021. Tergin said the city is working to set an official date for the project's groundbreaking.
The total project, including the construction contract as well as design and other costs, will be about $4.8 million.
In approving the contract in June, the City Council also approved relocation of $3.11 million from the Parks and Recreation Foundation fund to be used for the project. The funding has been raised from private donors, including resident B.J. DeLong, and kept by the foundation until needed.
Tergin said the project needs to raise an additional $500,000 to reach the total goal.
Any additional funding needed for the project on top of the $3.11 million will come from Jefferson City Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department funds that have been allocated for the development of the riverfront.