Carthage may have permanent detour route because of MODOT fundin - KOAM TV 7

Carthage may have permanent detour route because of MODOT funding decrease

Carthage Police Sergeant Steven Crews is one of many in the community hoping for a busy bridge on Highway 96 to get fixed.

"It's a central artery through Carthage.  Ninety-six Highway, an East-West artery through Carthage.  Highly traveled highway," says Crews.

MODOT engineers have labeled this bridge as being in poor condition, in need of serious repair or replacement.  There's already a ten-ton limit on this bridge.  Enforcement of this limit is taken so seriously, not even large emergency vehicles, including fire trucks, are allowed on the bridge.

"We do have a bridge detour route, for that one particular bridge.  However, where it detours is over, it's a ground crossing, over railroad tracks," says Carthage City Council member Ed Hardesty.

"Those railroad tracks are frequently closed, especially during daylight hours, for long periods of time because of the railroad yard," says Crews.

But MODOT says it's looking more likely that the hopes for repairs on the bridge could get run over.

"MODOT is having some funding issues that we're looking at down the road.  And we've identified our primary routes, which will get the most attention.  Otherwise, we maintain the rest of them as best as we can for as long as we can," says David Mitchell with MODOT.

A MODOT engineer confirms this Carthage bridge is not on MODOT's primary road list, and could be closed.  City officials say, with no money, what's MODOT to do?  But with no talks by the city for a possible permanent detour route, there could be a lot of planning to do.

Crews says it has come to the point where important decisions have to be made.

MODOT officials are still trying to determine which bridges will be closed indefinitely.

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