Cutting the ceremonial ribbon Sunday afternoon at the official opening of the new Rulo Bridge, from left: Chuck Simmonds, Karl Forehand, Steve Roberts, Mitch Glaeser, Mike Habegger, Curt Mueting, Tom Goodbarn, Michael Rinehart, Lt. Gov. Heidemann, Sen. Dan Watermeier, Randy Peters, Rod Vandeberg, Monty Frederickson, Charlie Radatz, Beckie Cromer, Anthony Fee and Allen Donigan. Photo by Randy Gottula
It might be a bit of a stretch, but not much of one. Mitch Glaeser inspired more than 1,600 people to write letters, and now, drivers are crossing the new Missouri River Bridge at Rulo without worrying about close calls. No sweat.
Call Mitch a bridge-builder. Call this the bridge that “Mitch built.” The moniker applies to a guy who has led an effort to revitalize this community. He has brought an aging hotel back to life. He has embraced a community that was emerging, but not quite there. Falls City and Richardson County needed a catalyst, and Mitch Glaeser, of Gainesville, FL (and Falls City, NE) was the guy.
On Sunday at Rulo, Glaeser and many others — up to 600 or more — were taking in the pleasant afternoon sun as the new span over the river at Rulo opened — not long after Glaeser called for a letter-writing campaign to get the job done. He followed up, as well, leading officials from Nebraska, Kansas and Missouri to Washington, D.C., to argue the case. That argument was a strong one. The narrow, aging and dangerous old Highway 159 Bridge was way, way past its time. Southeast Nebraska, Northwest Missouri and Northeast Kansas were in need of a safer passage.
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