The Platte River Road archway at Kearney has filed for bankruptcy, seeking to reorganize its massive debts once again. The archway owes bond holders $20 million, according to the bankruptcy filing reported by the Associated Press.
The giant archway has been plagued by finanical problems for years. Built at a cost of $60 million, it opened in 2000. Attendence was around 250,000 visitors, not too far below expectations, for the first two years, but declined sharply after that. The arch was refinanced in 2002, and ordered to repay $22 million in bonds by this year.
The money isn't there, officials said.
Last year fewer than 50,000 people attended, in a year of exceptional drought and high gas prices.
Officials hope the arch can continue to operate, once a bankruptcy court helps reoganize the finances.
The arch was a dream of former Gov. Frank Morrison, who believed Nebraska should emphasize its central role in the development of the West.
Morrison spoke the dedication of the arch. He was 95. A bust of his face can be seen at the entrance to the monument.
To read the AP report, click HERE.