MODOT Opens Highway Bypass
The new highway runs about eight miles through Moniteau County. It cost $24.8 million. MODOT says the old U.S. Highway 50 gets too congested, and its curves make people more prone to accidents.
"It's carrying around ten to twelve thousand cars a day, so we started looking at a four lane, and the highway will be safer and reduce congestion," said Jason Vanderfeltz, MODOT Transportation Project Manager.
Residents in California, Missouri may feel secure on the roads, but not in their pocketbooks. Residents fear the new highway could cost businesses, because the new highway bypasses downtown. California Mayor Norris Gerhart understands resident fears, as he started Mr. G's liquor store thirty-one years ago and still runs it today.
"It will reduce the number of people stopping, and there's no way to stop the impact," said Gerhart. But, Gerhart still wants people to see the positive in the new highway.
"There's a big, huge traffic count that comes through California, a lot of eighteen wheelers that are going to leave our town, make it a safer place to be," said Gerhart.
MODOT wants drivers to enjoy the new highway, but to also make sure they use it safely.
"We want drivers to take their time, learn the new road, and buckle up." said Vanderfeltz.
The new highway openS Tuesday morning after rush hour.