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Council asks St. Joseph voters to approve $20 million for bridges

The St. Joseph City Council is asking voters to approve a $20 million bond to improve city streets and bridges.

Posted: Jan 28, 2020 7:51 AM
Updated: Jan 28, 2020 8:46 AM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) The St. Joseph City Council is asking voters to approve a $20 million bond to improve city streets and bridges.

City Council voted Monday to put a transportation bond on April 7th ballot.

Voters would then be asked to approve $20 million in borrowing to repair at least 10 bridges and other roads in poor condition or worse.

If voters approve, homeowners would be charged an additional $23 for every $100,000 for a home valued at $100,000.

According to reports to City Council, the bridge repairs will cost $20 million. Andy Clements, the City’s Director of Public Works, said if the bridges are not fixed, they will need to be closed or restricted.

State engineers regularly inspect all bridges and rate structurally deficient bridges on a scale of 1-9 indicating whether the structure is okay for use. At least eight bridges are structurally deficient and have weight restrictions in St. Joseph.

The Public Works staff converted Missouri's rating system to the more widely used 1-100 scale used in other states including Kansas.

Much of the deterioration is due to the age of St. Joseph’s bridges.

Many of the bridges in need of repair are part of the parkway system including the King Hill Drive bridge built in 1927, the 22nd Street bridge was built in 1915, and the Lovers Lane bridge built in 1929.

LocationRating/Weight LimitAgeTotal Cost
Huntoon 15 tons (One Lane) 1930 $490,000
6th Street Viaduct 60 tons 1983 $600,875
King Hill 5 tons 1927 $1,436,891
22nd Street 8 tons 1915 $2,100,000
Lovers Lane 20 tons 1929 $1,457,000
McArthur Drive 40 tons 1947 (Re-decked in 1996) $1,465,000
Genefield Road 21 tons 1975 $1,220,000
5th Avenue 20 tons 1970 $914,000
13th Street 42.6 1915 $1,820,000
11th Street 31.8 1920 $1,646,234

Additionally, the proposal outlines three pedestrian bridges and a large culvert project utilizing bond money.

Clements said the repairs are long overdue.

The bond needed the city council’s approval before it could be submitted to voters on the April ballot. The council approved the bond initiative Monday.

If approved by voters, Clements said crews could begin repairing bridges in the next two years.

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