COOPER COUNTY – Following several months of discussion about the best option to replace the Route 41 bridge over the Lamine River, the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission on Wednesday instructed the Missouri Department of Transportation to move forward with its original plans for the bridge replacement.
MoDOT’s plans include removing the original bridge and constructing a new bridge in the same location at a cost of about $2.4 million. MoDOT’s design will improve driver safety by constructing a wider bridge with shoulders, while increasing sight distances for motorists approaching the bridge. The project is scheduled to be bid in January 2014.
An alternate proposal by a group of area residents called for the bridge to be built on a new alignment, which would have required obtaining property, designing a new bridge and getting federal approval to impact the Wetland Reserve Program. Under the alternate proposal, the new bridge would have cost taxpayers approximately $4.37 million, almost $2 million more than MoDOT’s proposal.
“We’d like to thank the area residents who brought an alternate proposal before the Commission and for the information they provided,” said Central District Engineer David Silvester. “We hope these residents understand that MoDOT just cannot afford to spend the extra funds this new alignment would require. The additional taxpayer dollars required under the alternate proposal will instead be used to address numerous other transportation needs statewide.”
Under MoDOT’s proposal, Route 41 will be closed no longer than three months to minimize disruption to the traveling public. The contract will also contain incentives for the work to be completed earlier.
“We will work to ensure that this closure occurs at a time that minimizes the impact to residents, businesses and agricultural interests,” said Silvester. “We have also been in contact with local emergency response officials, who have indicated that our project will have a minimal impact on their ability to deliver emergency services in the area.”
For more information about this project, please visit, www.modot.org/central.