(ST. JOSEPH, Mo) The discussion concerning the future of the i-229 double-decker bridge continues as many who will be affected one way or another offer their perspectives.
"We proposed 18 different options to look at," Shannon Kuselik, MoDOT said.
MoDOT has been hard at work brainstorming ideas for what do with the corridor coming up with options ranging from updating the existing bridge to a complete teardown. they say now is the time to come up with a solution that best fits the traffic in the area
"I think they thought that a lot more traffic was gonna use it than what actually did," Rhabecca Boerkircher, Downtown Partnership said.
The downtown area just to the east of the bridge is excited about the opportunity this could provide for the riverfront area.
"We’ve made great strides in the last several years," Boerkircher said. "This could be another coup for us as far as opening up that area."
A study conducted by MoDOT found that the double-decker bridge sees about 17,000 cars a day, for comparison the belt highway sees about 25,000 cars and i-29 sees about 30,000.
The local industry just to the south of the interstate says if the bridge were to come down, the effects would be minor.
"We are supplied by the farmers in the surrounding area, some of whom use i-229 but by in large it’s not critical in terms of the transport of raw corn to the lifeline facility." Kevin Kelly, LifeLine Foods said.
Kelly also said the company sees this as an opportunity for the entire area to benefit
"We’re seeing minimal impact from my business but for the community as a whole," Kelley said. "Probably makes sense to look at alternatives and not have I-229 blocks the riverfront."