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By Michael Boyd Jr.
STE. GENEVIEVE HERALD
The Ste. Genevieve County road and bridge department recently completed the reconstruction of one of the bridges of Misplay Road on its western stretch near Kinsey Road and Custom Differentials.
However, C Road and Bridge Foreman Scott Schmeider told the county commissioners that the bridge will remain closed until guard rails can be placed along the sides of the bridge for driver safety reasons.
Neither Schmeider nor Presiding Commissioner Randy Ruzicka have heard any complaints about waiting to open up vehicle access to the bridge, but is receiving calls as to when it will reopen.
The commissioners wanted to be safe as the bridge has a large drop off should drivers not be careful or are impaired.
“Our safety,” Ruzicka said in agreement. “We can’t take any chances on that. It’s really tall. We had another call yesterday that asked if the roads were going to be opened and like how much longer. I said not until the guard rails installed.”
Some residents on Misplay use Kinsey to access Route DD to take them to Interstate 55 or U.S. Highway 61.
However, several residents on Misplay, ever since the bridge repair started, have to drive out Misplay the other direction nearly three miles to Carron Road, which then allows them to access 55 or 61.
Schmeider said he is just waiting till the rails arrive to install them and the roads will reopen after final inspection.
The county commissioners said they received a Transportation Alternative Plan (TAP) grant to repair its sidewalks around the county courthouse and along Ste. Genevieve Drive/Highway 61.
The courthouse sidewalks to be repaired will be the white smooth-cemented sidewalks along DuBourg Street and also the sidewalks between the courthouse and the old building of the old museum building, which is now known as Ste. Genevieve Art Center and Museum.
Recently, the city of Ste. Genevieve repaired its portion of the aggregate (rough-surfaced) sidewalk around the courthouse along Market Street and Third Street.
Also, the commissioners said the sidewalks between Pettus Ford dealership and First State Community Bank will also be replaced.
“We’re real happy about (the grant),” Ruzicka said. “We don’t have any actual figures. We have like a projected threshold that we have to stay in, but we’re gonna have to put it out for our bid. We’re going to put it out for an RFP. We have to wait until we got, until we knew that we were going to be approved for the project before we proceed like so.”
The commissioners were very pleased to get the TAP grant as they feel it will make the city look like new.
CHESTER BRIDGE CEREMONY
Ruzicka said he attended the ground breaking for the Don Welge Memorial Bridge – aka the Chester Bridge – that connects Perryville, Mo., to Chester, Ill.
The 80-year-old bride needs a ton of work according to the state officials of both states. It is the only area bridge across the Mississippi River between southeast St. Louis and Cape Girardeau.
Despite the rain and the windy, 38-degree weather, Ruzicka said the ceremony went well as both states’ officials and others reminisced about Welge.
“Things are underway,” Ruzicka said. “There’s already pilings in the ground and they’re going on it. Officials from the area and both states were there. It was a really nice ground breaking and I think the predictions are three to four years.”
The target date for the bridge to be complete is estimated to be in 2026, according to reports.
Ste. Genevieve native Brian Okenfuss is heading the project for the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT).