May 16, 2013

Highways in Northeast Missouri Will Be Maintained, No New Construction

Recently, the Missouri Department of Transportation released its draft Statewide Transportation Improvement Program, which lists all transportation projects planned by state and regional planning agencies for a five-year period.

"In Northeast Missouri, the project listing is significantly different than it was just four years ago," said MoDOT NE Assistant District Engineer Kevin James. "With funding nearly half of what it was then, we have shifted to maintaining our existing highway and bridge system the best we can with the resources we have available," he said.

Four bridge projects in Scotland County are included in the scaled down 2014-2018 Highway and Bridge Construction Schedule. MoDOT is suggesting the replacement of the bridge deck over the North Fabius River on Route A, three miles east of Route M near Rutledge. The estimated cost of the project will be $535,000 and it is preliminarily being scheduled for construction between July 2013 and June 2014.

Route A is also being budgeted for bridge improvements over Bear Creek, 1.6 miles north of Route U near Gorin. Work on Bridge S0165 will come at an estimated cost of $276,000. The project is scheduled for completion between July 2014 and June 2015.

That same project year also will include a second Route A project if the STIP is approved. MoDOT has planned bridge improvements over the Allen Branch, 0.7 miles south of Highway 136 near the Arbela 4-Corners. Work on Bridge S0178 will come with an estimated $478,000 price tag.

The fourth proposed Scotland County project is also in the Gorin area. MoDOT is proposing replacing the bridge deck over Bear Creek on Route U, 0.9 miles east of Route A near Gorin. Work on Bridge N0256 will cost an estimated $266,000 and is projected to be done between July 2013 and June 2014.

While major construction projects are down, MoDOT says the good news is there are several miles of major and minor highways that will receive resurfacing.

"We are creating and paving shoulders on some projects, and there are more than two dozen bridge repair or replacement projects," James explained. "The bad news, though, is there just isn't enough funding to support highway expansion and major upgrades, including a replacement bridge on US 54 over the Mississippi River at Louisiana, or the Hannibal Expressway," he added.

Approximately $5.3 million is budgeted for the July 2013 through June 2014 fiscal year for resurfacing "various routes" in the district. That budget amount increases to more than $8 million the following fiscal year and more than $10 million in the 2016-17 fiscal year.

The public is invited to comment on the draft five-year program between May 1 and May 31 at http://on.mo.gov/12jyVc2. A hard copy of the document is available at both the Hannibal District Office and the Macon Regional Office, and comments can also be made by calling customer service at 1-888-275-6636.

Following the public review period, the comments will be presented to the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission. The Commission will review the comments and the final transportation program before considering it for approval at its July 10 meeting in Rolla.

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