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Ava R-1 Superintendent Brian Wilson met with MoDOT personnel here last Thursday afternoon and made an appeal to delay the closing of the Cowskin Bridge on Highway 14.
The Cowskin Creek bridge is one of six scheduled for replacement in 2011, but the only one that will adversely affect Ava School buses.
The bridge is scheduled to be closed for 44 days, beginning April 4.
Dr. Wilson said three school bus routes will be affected by the closing of the bridge. Those buses will have to detour over gravel county roads, which will lengthen the routes in both distance and time involved.
MoDOT personnel who were here on Thursday for a public meeting regarding the bridge replacements indicated they would consider delaying the project, Dr. Wilson is not anticipating a change in their schedule.
MoDOT engineer Chad Zickefoose said the only time schedules have been pushed back was when the pre-cast bridge materials were not ready on time.
With the Ava R-1 school year extended because of snow, replacement of the Fox Creek bridge on East Highway 14 could also become a factor, but only for a couple of days.
That bridge is scheduled to close on May 24. The 2010-2011 school term is currently set to end on May 25.
Other bridges in Douglas County that are to be replaced this year include the Bryant Creek bridge on Route B, work scheduled to begin March 7; Redbank Creek bridge on East Highway 76, scheduled for closing on April 26; Beaver Creek bridge on West Highway 76, scheduled for closing on July 11; and the Bryant Creek bridge on East Highway 76, scheduled for closing on Oct. 10.
MoDOT spokesman Bob Edwards said additional information will be put out prior to the bridge closings, giving information about alternate routes.
In Douglas County, those alternate routes will involve county roads in most instances.
The informational brochure handed out at Thursday’s meeting says state roads will be used for posted detours. However, drivers familiar with each area will be able to use county roads closer to each bridge that is closed.
Emergency personnel, such as fire, ambulance and law enforcement, are to be notified, as well, prior to each bridge closing.
In addition to the bridges being replaced in Douglas County, bridges will also be replaced in Ozark, Wright and Taney counties during 2011.