Bridge Closure Could Cripple Small Missouri Town, Resident Says

8 years 4 weeks 1 day ago Sunday, July 08 2012 Jul 8, 2012 Sunday, July 08, 2012 10:30:00 PM CDT July 08, 2012 in News
By: Danny Spewak
loading

PORTLAND, Mo. - An old, decrepit bridge is all that stands between Wally Spencer and his favorite fishing hole. With the help of his reliable red pickup truck, Spencer drags his boat across this half-century old fixture on Route 94 in southeast Callaway County "just about every day," even though it shakes, wobbles and threatens to fall apart every time a vehicle crosses it.

Spencer's fishing hole at the Portland ramp isn't going anywhere. Starting Monday, however, his route just got a lot longer-- 20 miles longer, that is, now that the Missouri Department of Transportation will shut down the bridge over Eagle Creek for construction at 7 a.m. That means for approximately the next 45 days, crews will replace the bridge that lies just feet from Spencer's house.

And they will invade his property on the creek to do it.

"I feel like I might get screwed in this deal with them tearing up my property," Spencer said. "But it needs to be done. It's just going to be a pain for a lot of us around here."

The road work will eliminate any use of Route 94 east of the bridge for residents in this region, and it's not just fishing taking a hit. Spencer said he'll use either gravel roads or wind through miles of rural highways just to get to the grocery store, or to take a trip to a place like Hermann, Mo.

There's another problem, too. The Portland post office sits just a few feet from the bridge, so anybody on the other side of the town will need to find a new way to get their mail.

It all adds up to more time spent on the roads and a considerable amount of extra expenses for gas money for the next month and a half.

"That's a lot for a lot of us around here, with the economy the way it is," Spencer said.

Spencer also said it won't just affect his personal expenses. Portland as a whole could take a hit as well, considering the bridge is the only route through town. Traveling to the Riverfront Bar and Grill just a short walk from the bridge, for example, could hurt business.

"Nobody can get across without going around that many miles," Spencer said. "They can't eat or socialize or whatever, it's going to affect the locals a lot."

Spencer said the bridge was built in the late 1940s, which explains the cracks in foundation, the scattered and run-down concrete and the faded paint on the green railings. He also said crews have alerted him for years they would try to replace the bridge, but the project never materialized until this week.

The bridge, part of MoDOT's Safe and Sound Bridge Improvement Program, is one of the last replacement projects. According to a press release, more than 740 bridges have already been renovated.

"It's a bad bridge, and it should have been one of the first ones on their list," Spencer said. "It's in worse shape than any of them."

 

More News

Grid
List
Not only is there a global pandemic in the year 2020, we’ve also been dealing with a very active start... More >>
3 hours ago Thursday, August 06 2020 Aug 6, 2020 Thursday, August 06, 2020 8:27:00 PM CDT August 06, 2020 in Weather
COLUMBIA - With just over two weeks until Mizzou's fall semester begins, KOMU 8's Emily Spain talked with MU Health... More >>
4 hours ago Thursday, August 06 2020 Aug 6, 2020 Thursday, August 06, 2020 6:57:00 PM CDT August 06, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA — The City of Columbia will host a virtual information meeting Thursday at 7:30 p.m. to discuss new loan... More >>
5 hours ago Thursday, August 06 2020 Aug 6, 2020 Thursday, August 06, 2020 6:03:00 PM CDT August 06, 2020 in News
MISSOURI — As COVID-19 continues to spread throughout Missouri, state and local officials confirm new case counts daily. This... More >>
6 hours ago Thursday, August 06 2020 Aug 6, 2020 Thursday, August 06, 2020 5:30:00 PM CDT August 06, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA — Columbia/Boone County Public Health and Human Services director Stephanie Browning issued a new health order on Thursday. ... More >>
7 hours ago Thursday, August 06 2020 Aug 6, 2020 Thursday, August 06, 2020 4:47:00 PM CDT August 06, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA — State and federal governments announced steps aimed at reining in violent crime in St. Louis Thursday, prompting... More >>
7 hours ago Thursday, August 06 2020 Aug 6, 2020 Thursday, August 06, 2020 4:42:09 PM CDT August 06, 2020 in News
MISSOURI — Back to school shopping? This weekend, sales tax won't apply. From Friday through Sunday, certain back to... More >>
8 hours ago Thursday, August 06 2020 Aug 6, 2020 Thursday, August 06, 2020 3:52:22 PM CDT August 06, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Missourians voted on Tuesday to pass Amendment 2, expanding Medicaid eligibility throughout the state. Joshua Dunne, chair... More >>
8 hours ago Thursday, August 06 2020 Aug 6, 2020 Thursday, August 06, 2020 3:52:00 PM CDT August 06, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - When COVID-19 began to shutdown mid-Missouri in March, many wondered how long the pandemic would last. Some... More >>
9 hours ago Thursday, August 06 2020 Aug 6, 2020 Thursday, August 06, 2020 2:32:00 PM CDT August 06, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA — Missourians who qualify under the newly expanded Medicaid qualifications will have to wait almost a year to... More >>
9 hours ago Thursday, August 06 2020 Aug 6, 2020 Thursday, August 06, 2020 2:28:00 PM CDT August 06, 2020 in News
As COVID-19 continues to spread, KOMU 8 will continue to update you about impacts in the community. You can... More >>
9 hours ago Thursday, August 06 2020 Aug 6, 2020 Thursday, August 06, 2020 2:13:00 PM CDT August 06, 2020 in News
WASHINGTON — Sen. Josh Hawley's bill to ban TikTok on government devices passed the U.S. Senate unanimously on Thursday, according... More >>
11 hours ago Thursday, August 06 2020 Aug 6, 2020 Thursday, August 06, 2020 12:51:00 PM CDT August 06, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY —Four people have tested positive for COVID-19 following open testing at the Missouri Capitol. The state health... More >>
11 hours ago Thursday, August 06 2020 Aug 6, 2020 Thursday, August 06, 2020 12:23:50 PM CDT August 06, 2020 in News
(CNN) -- Former First Lady Michelle Obama says she's suffering from a "low-grade depression." The reasons? The pandemic, race relations... More >>
13 hours ago Thursday, August 06 2020 Aug 6, 2020 Thursday, August 06, 2020 10:53:16 AM CDT August 06, 2020 in A Brighter Tomorrow
At the beginning of the Coronavirus pandemic, NBC news reported people with eating disorders were suffering due to social isolation.... More >>
13 hours ago Thursday, August 06 2020 Aug 6, 2020 Thursday, August 06, 2020 10:41:00 AM CDT August 06, 2020 in A Brighter Tomorrow
LAKE OF THE OZARKS - An Illinois man was killed on the Lake of the Ozarks Sunday after a boating... More >>
14 hours ago Thursday, August 06 2020 Aug 6, 2020 Thursday, August 06, 2020 9:07:00 AM CDT August 06, 2020 in News
HARTSBURG - The 2020 Hartsburg Pumpkin Festival will be canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The festival was set to... More >>
15 hours ago Thursday, August 06 2020 Aug 6, 2020 Thursday, August 06, 2020 8:56:00 AM CDT August 06, 2020 in News
BOONVILLE - A Boonville man pleaded guilty to child molestation Wednesday and was given 5 years probation. A grand... More >>
15 hours ago Thursday, August 06 2020 Aug 6, 2020 Thursday, August 06, 2020 8:32:38 AM CDT August 06, 2020 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 70°
12am 70°
1am 70°
2am 69°
3am 69°