Helias students speak about Missouri River Bridge being reopened By Jake Wieberg

The westbound Route 54/63 Bridge will be open to traffic on Nov. 14. The bridge has been going through repairs since Apr. 15, 2016. These repairs are necessary for the lifespan of the bridge to extend by 20 to 25 years. These renovations have been going on for almost 8 months. Many Helias students take this bridge to school every day.

These bridge renovations have been going on for far too long for some students. It was supposed to be completed sometime in the middle of Sept. The bridge maintenance has made some students angry, mainly due to it taking longer for them to get to school.

“Why did the construction take so long?” said Zeb Rackers. “I was mad that it started but I’m happy that the construction is ending.”

Another setback that has come with the bridge repairs is the traffic. For traffic to flow smoothly a median was placed on the eastbound bridge to split the traffic going east and westbound. In order for students to get to school or even work on time, they must leave earlier in order to compensate for the large traffic delays in the morning and must sit in traffic at 5 p.m. when they are coming home from jobs.

“It would take me about 10 to 12 minutes to get to school,” said Rackers. “Now with traffic, it takes me 20 minutes to get to school.”

The people working on the bridge will be taking out the median and fixing the lines starting on Nov. 11 at 6 p.m. Some people have also had accidents or vehicle breakdowns before, after, and even while on the bridge, even students. As long as there were no injuries in the accident, people are to move their vehicles off to the side of the road until it can be dealt with later.

“I was driving on the road right before it connects to the bridge,” said Jacob Hartman. “Then, my truck started making a weird noise and then it just died in the middle of the highway. I had to throw it in neutral, get out, and push it off the road during early morning traffic one day before school.”

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