New Lake Bridge Sparks Mixed Reactions

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CAMDEN COUNTY - Although it was a day for celebration, not everyone approved of the new Hurricane Deck Bridge at its ribbon-cutting ceremony Saturday.

Mary and Glen Goeke live in the end apartment at Sunset Palms Condominiums and said they have been upset with the Missouri Department of Transportation since the start of this project.

"They took all our trees down that were a sound buffer as well as a sight buffer," Mary Goeke said. "They refused to put up a wall."

MoDOT Central District Engineer David Silvester said it will not address the sound barrier issue, but will try to make some improvements.

"We're going to try to put some trees up that will help as a sound barrier," Silvester said. "It will help as a visual block, which are some of the complaints that the condo owners have had, and it's because some of the trees that the developer removed is not part of the job."

Contruction on the bridge was completed almost three months early.

Silvester said this bridge is an overall benefit to the community.

"It's such a wonderful opportunity to do a safety improvement like this at the lake," Silvester said. "It's the number one tourist destination in the state, and the improvements that we've made in the area, not just MoDOT, but our partners, the cities, the counties, the consultants, the contractors have all done very well to improve the economic development of this area."

Silvester said the wider structure and addition of shoulders to the Hurricane Deck Bridge are the greatest upgrades, and they ensure increased safety.

The new bridge has one 12-foot driving lane each way, and seven-foot shoulders on each side.

The old bridge served the area for 77 years, and a plaque from the old bridge will be preserved by Daphne Jeffries at the Camden County Historical Society.

Silvester thinks this one can outlive the original.

"This hopefully will last us one hundred years," Silvester said.

Hurricane Deck Bridge will be open to traffic Monday evening.

The original bridge will then be closed and prepared for demoltion for the rest of this year.