After more than a month of preparation, the Missouri Department of Transportation and Clarkson Construction Co. are ready to provide details regarding the construction of two new bridges on the east side of Carthage.

After more than a month of preparation, the Missouri Department of Transportation and Clarkson Construction Co. are ready to provide details regarding the construction of two new bridges on the east side of Carthage.
MoDOT has scheduled a public meeting for 4:30 p.m.-6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 21, at Carthage City Hall, 326 Grant St., to discuss the replacement of the now-closed railroad viaduct just off east Central on the east side of town, and a second bridge over a flood way near Kellogg Lake Park.
The public can come and go as it pleases during that timeframe — there will not be any formal presentation — but representatives of the contractor and MoDOT will be on hand with posters, pictures and written information.

Detour changes
Sean Matlock, a project engineer for MoDOT, said the meeting will provide details on detour changes, what the bridges will look like and the schedule of construction.
One thing that will likely change as construction begins is the available detours around the closed railroad viaduct.
Since 82-year-old railroad bridge was closed on Sept. 1, 2016, the public has been able to use North River Street, Zappletal Way and Meridian Street and El Dorado Street to get around it.
“Now you won't be able to use those streets,” Matlock said. “The contractor will be working on both bridges at the same time so you won't be able to use the same detours.”
Another concern that will be addressed is rerouting travelers on Route 66 without causing them undue inconvenience.
Matlock said he and others will have information regarding the detours at the meeting.

Bridge details
Matlock said people will also be able to see some of the same information they saw at a meeting held in July before the railroad viaduct was closed, including special features that will be built into the bridges.
The current bridge over the railroad tracks has two 12-foot-wide lanes with no shoulders.
The new railroad bridge will include two 12-foot lanes with six-foot shoulders on either side and a protected sidewalk on the east side of the structure. It will also have light standards similar to the ones installed on the inside sidewalk of the Carthage Square to replace the lamps that were built into the historic bridge but haven't worked in years.
The bridge over the floodway will also be wider, featuring 10 foot shoulders on either side of 12-foot lanes.
There are financial incentives for the contractor if both bridges are open prior to the Sept. 15 deadline.
MoDOT and contractor representatives will be on hand to answer questions about the traffic impacts and the construction timeline for the project.
Those unable to attend can view an online public meeting which will include the same exhibits. Those who view the online public meeting can send in questions via e-mail. The online public meeting will be available beginning Feb. 21 at www.modot.org/southwest.
For more information, call MoDOT at 417-895-7600 or visit modot.org/southwest.
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