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Plan for New U.S. 160 Bridge Near Ash Grove
To Be Presented at Public Meeting on May 26

MoDOT, District 8, Springfield -- An open house-style public meeting on the design of a new Sac River bridge on U.S. 160 west of Ash Grove is scheduled for Thursday, May 26.

Engineers with the Missouri Department of Transportation will be on hand to provide information about the preliminary plan for the project.

The meeting will run 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. in Ash Grove City Hall, 100 W. Main Street.

The bridge is about 1-1/2 miles west of Ash Grove near the Greene-Dade county line.

The project involves building a new bridge in the same location as the existing bridge and easing curves on the highway on either side of the bridge.

The new bridge, about the same length as the existing 310-foot long bridge, would be 32 feet wide. The existing bridge, built in 1926, is 20 feet wide.

The road will have to be closed for several months so that contractors can tear down the existing bridge and build the new one. That work would take place in 2006 or 2007.

Building the bridge in place is less expensive than an earlier plan to build a new, much longer bridge alongside the existing bridge.

To try to save money, MoDOT had planned to scale back the original project to leave the existing bridge and work only on the curves on the highway. The curves are where the worst crash problems exist.

However, an overwhelming majority of area residents who attended an April 19 meeting or signed a petition favored building a new bridge.

So MoDOT engineers, responding to the public's concerns, re-examined the project. A new plan was developed to replace the existing bridge, although it will be shorter and narrower than the bridge proposed in the original plan.

The plan being presented May 26 will cost an estimated $2.5 million. That's about $1.5 million less than the original plan that included a new, larger bridge. But it will be $1.3 million more than the April 19 plan that left the existing bridge in place.

People may provide comments about the project at the May 26 meeting or submit comments by mail or email through Thursday, June 9.

Mail comments to MoDOT Project Manager Jim Hartman at 3025 E. Kearney St., Springfield, MO 65803, or send email to james.hartman@modot.mo.gov .


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