Osage River Bridge Makes History

6 years 9 months 1 week ago August 16, 2010 Aug 16, 2010 Monday, August 16 2010 Monday, August 16, 2010 6:38:02 PM CDT in News
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TUSCUMBIA - The Osage River Bridge made history as the nation's first project to start construction under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. MODOT made the new bridge wider and gave it shoulders to increase safety. The bridge took about eighteen months to complete and cost $8.3 million in stimulus money.

About 2,800 drivers cross the bridge everyday. MODOT says the bridge helps drivers get to school and work. It provides a route to Fort Leonard Wood, which is a civil support team that specializes in responding to weapons of mass destruction incidents. It also provides a route to the tourism destination, Lake of the Ozarks.

Diane Juerguensmeyer works as a bus driver. She drives students across the bridge almost every week to sporting events. She says she's thrilled with the new bridge because it will make her job safer.

"No one wants to cross that old bridge hardly, we're glad to see the new bridge come, we have even had close calls with school buses when you meet semis, mirrors would touch," said Juerguensmeyer.

Federal stimulus money is funding more than 300 projects in Missouri, about half of which are complete.

MODOT leaders are happy to discuss whether or not the money will solve Missouri's construction needs.

"The answer is no. Did it help? It did. It helped us build 300 projects, just under $700 million in improvements, but it's a one time shot of money that we're building with over two years," said Kevin Keith, MODOT Interim Director.

The bridge helped employ 240 people directly and indirectly during the construction work.

MODOT will destroy the old bridge in September.





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