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City council declines taking official position on I-229 future

A resolution in support of keeping the interstate designation for I-229 failed on a 5-4 vote. Council members say they want to hear more from MoDOT before limiting their options.

Posted: Nov 29, 2021 8:46 PM
Updated: Nov 30, 2021 9:53 AM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) -- St. Joseph's city council is not quite ready to take a formal position on the future of Interstate 229 and the double decker bridge.

During their regular council meeting Monday evening, members voted 5-4 against a resolution in support of the roadway keeping its interstate designation.

Several council members said they have been getting feedback from their constituents who are wanting to keep the interstate and the iconic I-229 double decker bridge.

MoDOT has been looking at alternatives over the past several years, most of which tear the bridge down and decommission the roadway as an interstate. MoDOT staff have cited the extreme costs of repairs, the unique roadway needs and the relatively small amount of traffic that travels the roadway on a daily basis.

Those in support of keeping the interstate designation and the bridge say it is a necessary roadway for agricultural and industrial traffic and provides a convenient way to get downtown.

Madison Davis was the lone council member not to initially sponsor the resolution. In the end, four other council members agreed that it was too bold of language to use at this point in the process without knowing exactly what other options are available.

 "It's a generational decision," Davis said. "It's something that will be, whether in a good way or bad way, it'll affect our downtown and our city. I think everybody has a vested interest in making certain it's the right decision. Like any decision, not everybody agrees on what the right decision is."

Council members agreed to hold a work session with MoDOT in the near future to hammer out more details on possible alternatives the transportation department is considering.

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