To the Editor:
I am writing about something that has been bothering me for a year now. It is the bridges on Highway 40 in the bottoms.
Here is the deal: last year MODOT or somebody paved Highway 40 for about 30 MILES. It is about the smoothest, best road in these parts. I was very happy and surprised with what they did, given my overall dissatisfaction with the roads of Missouri. But, not to be let down–they did NOTHING to the bridge in the bottoms or the bridge that goes up the hill from the bottoms. This was like doing cancer surgery but leaving a cancer growth in an area that could have been fixed.
NOW–we have a smooth, great road from Midway to the bridge that goes downhill to the bottoms, then another stretch of great, smooth road and then the lousiest bridge in the world in the bottoms! I have to slow my car to 20-25 mph to keep from having my car shake all over the place.
It is like the viaduct in New Franklin was before they finally tore it down.
I have talked to the Missouri Highway and Transportation Commission. In typical government fashion, they gave me to some woman named “Edith” who was in the Central region. Her response: arguing with me about where these bridges were!!! She told me they “couldn’t be in Howard County. I told her to get a map and look for herself. She then said she would have an engineer call me.
I then called Rep. Muntzel’s office and left a message. No reply yet from him. Then I called Senator Hoskin’s office and talked to a woman there. She said she would look into it. Then I get a call back from a MODOT engineer. He tells me they can’t patch the bridges because the weight would be too much, though he agreed they are problems. Then, of course, I get the “we ain’t got no money” plea.
The next day another MODOT engineer calls me at 7 in the morning. I am glad I had my ringer off since I don’t get up that time o day. I called him back and he tells me they WILL be patching the bridges. I told him his associate told me that would add to much weight. Guess what? I then hear the we-ain’t got-no-money plea from this guy.
Then he tells me they will patch it because Highway 40 will be the detour when the Missouri River bridge on I-70 is repaired next year.
GIVE ME A BREAK!!! They knew this big bridge would get fixed and they knew Highway 40 was to be the detour and they did absolutely NOTHING to these bridges–knowing that?
It is this illogical process that MODOT applies over and over and over again that gives me absolutely NO FAITH AT ALL in their functioning.
In summation: these bridges won’t stand up to lengthy semi usage the shape they are in. The plan to patch them is, according to one of their own engineers, not a good idea due to the additional weight it will put on the bridges. What should have happened is this–when the highway was repaved last year, these two bridges SHOULD HAVE BEEN REMOVED AND REPLACED–just like the bridge on the very same road at the Howard County/Boone County line.
I will NEVER vote to give this incompetent bunch of clowns an increase in funding. They cannot show us, the citizens of Missouri that they are capable of using logic in their decision making. They won’t use their funds which comes from our pockets to fix the roads so the vehicle we drive that we pay annual taxes on for the privilege of driving on these crappy roads in order to park at our homes we pay taxes on. Talk about a racket. Al Capone would be proud.
Harold H. Kerr II