The Missouri Department of Transportation suggested some repairs to a Marion County bridge that would eliminate the need to reduce its weight limit in the near future.
MoDOT’s repairs proposal for the County Road 302 bridge are not mandatory, said Marion County Coordinator Teya Stice.
"The county is welcome to repair the bridge however it deems necessary," said Aaron Hugenberg of MoDOT in a May 31 letter to Marion County Presiding Commissioner David Lomax.
If no repairs are made, the county will need to lower the bridge's weight limit from 13 to 7 tons, Hugenberg said.
"It would be a temporary fix, but we would still be able to use it for school buses," Stice said. "That's great news."
The repairs would be good for from 5-10 years, Hugenberg said.
"That would help us a lot," said Marion County's Eastern District Commissioner Larry Welch during Monday's meeting of the county commission at the courthouse in Palmyra.
Rather than hiring a private contractor to make the repairs, the work could be performed by the county's highway department personnel, Stice said.
MoDOT's main concern for the bridge is its heavy deterioration at the corners of the south girder near the abutment. The repair would entail bolting quarter-inch plates onto the damaged web's other girders.
The letter advises that it may also be necessary to plate the north and center girder in the near future.
The structure has heavy rusting in the corners of the outside beams, according to notes compiled by the state personnel during their 2019 bridge inspection. MoDOT said the county should consider major repairs.
It would cost $173,113 to build a new 52-foot bridge that crosses a branch, according to MoDOT.
The current 30-foot-long, one-lane bridge was built in 1950. It is located west of Taylor, just south of the Marion-Lewis County line in the north-central portion of the county.