Your Opinion: Closure for Route 133 project explained

Dear Editor:

I would like to respond to a letter that recently appeared in your newspaper about two roadway improvement projects planned in Osage County.

Your reader expressed concern that Route 133 is scheduled to close for approximately a month and a half next spring to replace the bridge over Sugar Creek. Following the completion of that work, Route 133 will close in August for about two and a half months. This will allow for the realignment of the highway to reduce the grade of a steep hill where large trucks routinely stall and block traffic. Motorists will be detoured around the work area during both projects. Your reader would like both closures to occur at the same time to minimize inconvenience for area motorists.

We certainly understand your reader’s concern and are working hard to minimize closure times. However, it is important to provide clarification so readers better understand why MoDOT is proposing to complete each project at separate times.

If both projects are constructed at the same time, access to properties located between both work areas would only be possible by using local county roadways. These roadways close during periods of high water because they include several low-water crossings. If this occurred, access to these properties would be eliminated. We hope area residents understand the importance of ensuring local property owners the ability to reach their properties.

Please know that we are working to ensure that the improvements on Route 133 are completed as efficiently as possible and are considering public comment. We would like to thank the public for their patience, support and input during this process.

Thank you for allowing us to provide additional information for your readers. We always encourage citizens to contact us with their comments, questions and input about roadway projects. Additional information about this work can be found at www.modot.org/central or by calling 1-888-ASKMoDOT (275-6636.)

Issue-oriented letters to the editor in response to this or about other local topics are welcome. All letters should be limited to 400 words. The author's name must appear with the letter, and the name, address and phone number provided for verification. Letters that cannot be verified by telephone will not be published. Send letters for publication to editor@newstribune.com

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