Wednesday, March 3, 2010
Bollinger County residents who met recently with state and federal officials regarding highway issues were told help is on the way. But many of the residents say they've been told that for the past 20 years while major needs go unmet.
The good news is that the residents, state highway officials -- including district engineer Mark Shelton from the Missouri Department of Transportation -- and U.S. Rep. Jo Ann Emerson all got together for a frank exchange. The meeting, arranged by Emerson, was in response to the efforts of Brittany Holmes, a Marble Hill student, to call attention to dangerous area highways that have taken several lives, many of them Brittany's friends.
How much can be done to improve Bollinger County's highways depends, however, on available funding. Meanwhile, MoDOT is about to begin some improvements that should address some of the safety issues. Work on Highway 34 improvements are set to being this spring. There are long-term plans for Highway 51 from Marble Hill to Highway 72. And narrow bridges on Highway 34 near Burfordville are scheduled to be replaced in 2012.
Bollinger County has the highway department's attention. It will be up to concerned residents to keep up the pressure as funding decisions are made.