Bridge Declared an Emergency Reopens
CARROLL COUNTY- Workers said Thursday a bridge that carries U.S. Highway 24 across the Grand River will reopen this week. Patrick Dolan, head of the construction company building the bridge, said the bridge could open up as soon as tomorrow depending on how long it takes the concrete to set on the bridge -- much to the relief of residents in the area.
"Well it's going to be nice for me. I'm going to be able to get here a lot quicker, don't have to drive around all the time," Matt Germann said. Germann works in Carroll County and lives in Chariton. He said his one way commute with the bridge closed is an additional twenty minutes. "It takes a lot of time out of my day."
People in the area aren't the only ones who were affected. Commercial trucks traveling from Kansas City also use the highway. That's one of the reasons why Governor Nixon declared the bridge in need of emergency repair in July.
It's easy for those who find themselves in front of the road closed signs, and aren't familiar with the area, to get lost. While road closure signs litter the highway on both sides of the bridge, detour signs are sparse. Those in the area say they often find themselves giving directions -- but if what the head of construction says is true, all of that will change within the next week and maybe even early tomorrow.
"If it's opens up tomorrow I'll be tickled pink, really," Dewitt resident Christopher Artis said.
Artis said his wife works on the other side of the bridge and with his picking and dropping her off twice a day, the mileage with the detour is extreme compared to when the bridge is open.
"It's making me drive almost 130 miles a day when I was only driving seven."
Artis doesn't have air conditioning in his vehicle and he says with the heat lately that makes it even harder.
"We're older people and it's paying a toll on us."
The construction will finish ahead of time; October was the original reopen date.