Concerned citizens are hoping their voices are heard, as they recently signed a petition over construction of a new bridge over the Lamine River on Highway 41.
Area resident Mike Herns laid out a draft of what the citizens would like to see. Their main concerns deal with safety during and after construction is completed.
"We would like to work with MoDOT to come up with a good plan. It is silly to make the same mistake all over again, which was made 80 years ago," Herns said.
Herns added the current location of the bridge was primarily made for model A cars, which is not the traffic that goes over it today.
"I have the greatest respect for MoDOT because they have done so much with so little for so long." Hurn said.
The first concern regarding the bridge construction is the detour through Blackwater, which is very hilly and has no shoulder. While the bridge is being replaced this route will be the only connection to the affected areas. Another concern lies with emergency response times, which could be as much as 30 minutes.
MoDOT has said in an earlier article they are willing to place an emergency vehicle at the north side of the bridge.
But, overall the area residents would like the bridge put in a location they feel will benefit all, which is a bridge to the west of the existing bridge. While this plan was voiced at the community meeting held over two weeks ago, the plan has been refined, which will not affect the Federally owned wet lands.
The citizens proposed plan consist of possibly having the road widenedwhen it diverges from Interstate 70 area.
While cost is a huge factor in MoDOT's decision, the potential cost calculated by area residents who travel through the area each day, may exceed $1,000,000 in transportation cost alone. This is according to a study by MoDOT, which stated on average 1,100 vehicles travel over the bridge each day, which includes large semis and farm equipment.
Residents have argued the project could be done much lower.
"Do it slower at a lower cost and put the extra money in making the road safe," area resident Ted Kusgen said.
"The main thing to us is to improve the site distance on each side," area resident Ted Litton said.
According to a release from the Missouri Department of Transportation, MoDOT will present its updated plans for replacing the bridge over the Lamine River at a meeting scheduled for July 12. The meeting will be held from 9-11 a.m. at the Blackwater R-II Elementary School, located at 300 Dodderidge Avenue in Blackwater.
Participants will have the opportunity to view a virtual drive-through showing as it is now, as well as the improved sight distance after the new bridge is built. Construction of the new bridge is scheduled to take place in 2014.
Page 2 of 2 - MoDOT engineers will be on hand at the meeting to provide information and answer questions about the project.