OZARK, Mo. — After holding off on implementing their original plan of changing the traffic pattern on the bridge, commissioners with the Ozark Special Road District held a special meeting on Monday to discuss details with the city.
The Special Road District initially wanted to shut the bridge down for four days this week to change the road into a bi-directional one way and lower the weight limit on the bridge.
Commissioners said they were concerned with the safety of the decaying bridge.
After hearing the news, city officials said they were a little concerned.
Ozark City Administrator, Steve Childers, said there’s been much confusion over the years about who is responsible for maintaining which roads, as the city grows.
“I’m sure just by looking at it, you’re gonna see corrosion and things like that,” Childers said. “We know the bridge is in need of repair, but as far as being able to drive across it and not being safe, that’s not the case.”
Childers said they asked the Special Road District to take over the ownership of the bridge.
“Trying to have a one-lane bridge and asking people to do the bi-directional, without a significant amount of signals and lighting and things of that nature, that could get really confusing very fast and we could cause much greater safety issue than we have,” Childers said.
Ozark Special Road District Commissioner, Michael Bloom, said they were fine with the city having ownership, as long as the bridge’s weight limit was immediately lowered. The city agreed.
“To know that we have finally confirmed who owns it, confirmed who is required to maintain it, and mainly confirmed that the safety of the citizens is confirmed, we’re good,” Bloom said.
Childers said there are still major plans to rehabilitate the bridge fully next year. He said drivers could see the bridge close for approximately four to six months for improvement.
He said the city plans to communicate heavily with the citizens when it comes to the timeline of the future project.