JOPLIN — Carolyn Throop, Joplin, looked over the map and graphic for her name to see if she'll have to give up some of her land so the state can build a new interchange to serve the Crossroads Industrial Park in Joplin.
It's not that she minds selling a small piece of land to the state.
"I'm not concerned, I just want to see if they'll take any and how much," Throop said at a public meeting, held Monday by the Missouri Department of Transportation to let the public see the plans for the new interchange at Prigmore Road and Interstate 44/49.
"If they need to take it, fine," Throop added. "They wouldn't be building it if they didn't think it was needed. I just came to see what's going on and how it will affect me."
MoDOT assistant District Engineer Dan Salisbury talked to many of the people who came to Monday's meeting, which was held in the Joplin R-8 Schools Administrative building at 32nd and Duquesne Road in Joplin.
He said the design for the interchange is new to the area, but not new in the state or the country.
The $11.1 million project will build a new bridge to replace the current Prigmore Road overpass.
At either end of the bridge, roundabouts will be used to allow traffic to turn left or right onto Prigmore Road or on to the two outer roads in the area, 20th Street on the north side and Apple Road on the south side.
The design looks different from above, but Salisbury said it will be functional and convenient in practice.
"I know we have an interchange like this in Kansas City," Salisbury said. "This is a fairly common solution. If you remember a few years ago, the concept of rebuilding I-70, this was the plan for all of the interchanges on I-70. We looked at all the different ways to handle traffic and we considered a lot of things, the capacity to handle traffic, plus the overall cost. We needed to stay out of the flood plain to the north and this was the idea that allowed us to do that."
The new interchange was part of the deal that brought the Blue Buffalo Pet Food Company, and more than 120 new jobs to the Crossroads Industrial Park just south of the planned interchange.
It will allow truck traffic more direct access to the industrial park than the current arrangement, which has traffic taking I-49 south, then exiting at County Route FF to the east.
Salisbury said MoDOT and the city of Duenweg have worked together on plans to improve Prigmore Road north of the interstate, so trucks from that city can also access the interchange safely.
"As a cost-share between the city of Duenweg and MoDOT, we're going to put a new surface on Prigmore Road and widen it with two-foot wider shoulders," Salisbury said. "That will not take any additional right of way. We will go up to the intersection of Seventh and Prigmore and on the south corners we'll acquire a little bit more land to have better sight distance."
Page 2 of 2 - Salisbury said MoDOT will spend 2014 buying the right of way needed for the project, then start construction in the spring of 2015. Completion is planned for December 2015.