‘39 bridge dedication drew ‘thousands’

The dedication/opening of the Highway 159 bridge over the Missouri River at Rulo Sunday afternoon promises to be a big, big economic boost for Southeast Nebraska. The same was said back on Dec.  19, 1939, when the traffic bridge being replaced was dedicated, drawing “thousands,” of persons, as The Journal reported.

The 11-year effort to get the $760,000 bridge involved unbelievable legal battles with Falls City and Omaha attorney John C. Mullen never taking a “No” for an answer. He made numerous trips to Washington promoting the bridge. The Great Depression figured in heavily as the efforts continued. A “Yes” came about when Mullen and Governor Arthur J. Weaver, a Falls Cityan, went to Washington for a personal conference with President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The Progress Works Administration paid 45 percent of the cost and Richardson County revenue bonds paid the other 55 percent.

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