Osage Beach Bypass Planned
But MODOT plans to change that. As many as 43,000 vehicles drive on one road through Osage Beach every day.
"Several years ago the decision was made to widen the existing road to five lanes instead of two to build this expressway. Now the existing five lane has gotten congested again," MODOT District Engineer Roger Schwartze said.
So MODOT plans a $158 million bypass to Route 54. The bypass will run from Business 54 to west of Route KK. Osage Beach will keep and maintain the existing road through town.
Today MODOT heard feedback from supporters.
"I think it's wonderful. We've been waiting for a long time to relieve the traffic congestion in our area," Osage Beach business owner Barbara Painter said.
They also heard from those who don't like the project.
"I don't think we need four more concrete lanes right in that area," Culver Regional Transportation Committee member Bill Culver said.
Culver proposes a road to bypass the lake entirely, a road he says will sustain a growing area.
"I just think our vision needs to go beyond this. Maybe to the arm. What was that, the way we got a yard was by the arm. 3 feet? Maybe we need to go a few feet beyond our nose on this project," Culver said.
MODOT says its bypass will be able to handle any future traffic. Traffic it expects to reach 72,000 vehicles a day by 2025. MODOT also says it expects to complete the project by 2010.
The Department of Transportation will hold another public meeting about the bypass Thursday from 4-7pm at Riverside Baptist Church.