Jan 10, 2020 3:00 PM

St. Joe councilmember calls I-229 double decker decision important

Posted Jan 10, 2020 3:00 PM
I-229 double decker overpass in downtown St. Joseph/Photo by Brent Martin
I-229 double decker overpass in downtown St. Joseph/Photo by Brent Martin

By BRENT MARTIN

St. Joseph Post

St. Joseph has a big decision ahead of it and a councilmember says the city needs to get it right.

Councilmember Brian Myers agrees the decision about what replaces the I-229 double decker bridge which runs along the Missouri River in downtown St. Joseph is a generational opportunity.

Myer credits the Missouri Department of Transportation for a transparent process on deciding the future of the I-229 bridge.

“It is a slow process. I think if they would pick something today it would probably be at least five years before we saw anything, because it is an interstate,” Myers tells host Barry Birr on the KFEQ Hotline. “This is an opportunity to fix something that I would argue never should have happened to begin with.”

Myers, who owns businesses in downtown St. Joseph, says the downtown can’t really move forward until the replacement for the I-229 double decker is decided.

Myers says the double decker is an eyesore and presents unique problems.

“It is expensive to maintain. There’s some safety concerns with it also, because when you have something that is elevated that way, there are no shoulders, so if there is an emergency situation there’s really no way you can effectively pull off,” Myer says.

Myers says St. Joseph needs traffic from Kansas City to the south and Omaha to the north to flow into the downtown, adding the city needs to be careful that MoDOT settles on the best possible replacement.