By Carol Kincaid
A very informal public meeting was held in the office of the Knox County Commissioners about the bridge G-453, less than a half mile north of Edina on State Highway 15.
MoDOT representatives David T. Silvester, Assistant District Engineer, and Jennifer Hinson,m North Area Engineer, both from District 3, and Nate Walker, Executive Director of Northeast Missouri Regional Planning Commission and Rural Development Corporation, as well as Representative Brian Munzlinger were present to speak with those assembled.
Hinson spoke mainly on behalf of MoDOT, explaining that the bridge is structurally sound, this includes the gusset plates that have been under study recently. She said the bridges in the currently proposed "802 Bridge Plan" have a three or four "rating", saying that "a three is bad, a two means we have to close the road".
The bridge in question has a five or six rating, and Hinson said "it will get a new guard rail this spring or summer". She also mentioned that the bridge will probably get some "reflective paint".
Rep. Munzlinger said there are 28 area bridges in the "802 Bridge Plan", just not G 453. That is if the Plan goes through, "it is an ongoing project".
When recommended by Regional Planning, MoDOT "scopes" the bridge, checking to see how much water flows under, and how much traffic goes over the edifice. She essentially said that MoDOT does nothing until Regional Planning recommends the bridge for consideration.
Director Walker said that the Regional Transportation Council meets three or four times per year, and that public support is needed to present the project to that committee. August 6 the Missouri State Highway Committee will have a meeting in Canton, and members of the public may choose someone to speak for them for a few minutes during the meeting on subjects such as the bridge.
Several of those present asked questions of MoDOT and Regional Planning, questions which were answered, just not the way we had hoped. It is apparently going to take a lot more noise or "squeaks" to get this "wheel greased".
In the meantime, this reporter will be compiling a file on the bridge-if necessary I'll take it to Canton. I want a safer bridge for our citizens and those who pass through our county. It you have comments about the bridge, have lost a mirror, or had a bad experience while crossing the bridge, let me know at C. Kincaid, c/o The Edina Sentinel, PO Box 270, Edina, MO, 63537.
The Sentinel will keep you informed of any news about the bridge.