The current Coler Street bridge is small but daily it carries a heavy traffic load through Morse Park. It's not just park traffic that travels over the low water bridge but local citizens who pass through the park en route to other areas of town.

MoDot has deemed the bridge to be in need of repair but local government will be taking it a step further and will replace the structure.

The current 39 foot bridge was built in 1965 and will be replaced with a new design planned to be around 100 feet long. It will also be 42 feet in width that will include two 13-foot traffic lanes and two 8-foot pedestrian walkways, one on each side. The new bridge will also be elevated.

The project will be a joint effort between Newton County and the City of Neosho. The county owns the bridge itself while the city owns the surrounding park area.

The estimated 1.2 million dollar price tag will be 80% paid with federal funds while the city and county would each bear 10% of the cost. The funds will come from the federal Bridge Replacement Off-System fund but immediate action is required or those funds might be returned back to MoDOT.

A memorandum of understanding between Newton County and the city is expected to be signed at the February 18 Neosho City Council meeting.

Construction may start as early as summer or fall 2020 with completion estimated to take place some time during 2021.