(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) MoDOT discussed using $30 to $50 million tax dollars to revamp, or demolish and replace Interstate 229.
"If we're going to invest $50 million on a project we're going to make sure it's what the region wants," Chris Redline, MoDOT district engineer, said.
To do that, MoDOT officially hired HG Consultant Stephen Wells to help them assess the I-229 "double decker" bridge.
"We've got a real opportunity we need to make a fairly big investment in this bridge one way or another we can really use it to catalyze other things that the community wants to do," Wells said.
Farmers of the community like Mitchell Corbin are heavily dependant on the I-229 bridge and doesn't want the final decision for the bridge to be demolition. Corbin uses the double decker bridge to drive semi-truck loads of grain through St. Joseph.
"I've been on that deck since it was brand new, we bring five to six thousand bushels down here a year, that's six to 700 trips," Corbin said. If they tear it down I think that would be a detriment to the community, I think that would be a detriment to I-229 congestion."
During the next 14 to 16 months MoDOT will conduct surveys on everything from surrounding wildlife to the number of semi-trucks that drive through the area.
In the coming weeks, MoDOT will conduct discussions with members of the community and launch a link on their website so people can weigh-in how to best handle the future of the I-229 bridge.