MoDOT Plans to Make Changes to Six Bridges

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JEFFERSON CITY - MoDOT held a public hearing Thursday afternoon to announce the department's $18 million plan for roadway improvements.

The department plans to make changes along the U.S. Route 50 (Whitton Expressway) corridor from Monroe St. to Clark Ave.

MoDOT will specifically replace five bridges along the corridor and rehabilitate one bridge. 

MoDOT's transportation project manager Michael Dusenberg told KOMU 8 News the department will replace five bridges and one will be rehabilitated. 

Dusenberg said the bridge work has nothing to do with safety concerns.

"A lot of bridges, they just get to a point where it just doesn't become cost-effective for us to keep maintaining the structures," Dusenberg said. "That takes a lot of time, that takes a lot of money, and in most cases, it's just a band-aid to prolong the life of the bridge." 

The bridge work will require closures at Jackson St. and Chestnut St. as well as lane closures on Clark Ave. 

Charles Verhoff owns a property on McCarty St. which is one of Jefferson City's busiest streets.

Veroff said he is worried about the traffic once the projects start. 

"It's going to affect driving patterns and I have a feeling that when they're working on the bridges, it's going to cause more traffic on McCarty St., which we have a house on. So I'm curious what that's going to do as far as traffic while they're doing the project," Verhoff said. 

Verhoff said he agrees with MoDOT's plan for roadway improvements to a certain extent. 

"I think it's needed to expand the expressways," Verhoff said. "It's pretty bad in the morning." 

Dusenberg said MoDOT is working to create the least impact on property owners living near the affected streets.

"So this is an opportunity to replace it while we're doing the interchange work," Dusenberg said. "Just remain patient with us and as we go through the project in the next year or so, and if they have any good and bad feedback, we will try to develop the best plan we can." 

The project also includes adding a lane in each direction from Monroe St. to Lafayette St. and from Lafayette St. to Clark Ave. 

"We're also looking into adding an additional lane on the expressway in each direction from Monroe St. and Lafayette St. and from Lafayette St. to Clark Ave."

Dusenberg said the work is scheduled to begin in late 2014 and will take approximately two years to complete.