As a citizen who drives every day in Ozark you certainly recognize our volume of traffic is becoming more not less. The City of Ozark continues to be a highly desirable market for developers, both residential and commercial, because of the many wonderful attributes our community has to offer. As new growth occurs the impact that growth has on our infrastructure system, specifically transportation, creates significant demands for increased capacity. As a river community, bridges are a critical component to the transportation system as well as managing the flood waters that can cause road closures, increase safety risks, and cause property damage.
Knowing growth and economic development is intricately tied to transportation improvements, in 2019 Governor Mike Parsons created the Governor’s Transportation Cost Share Program, specifically focused on funding local transportation improvements that would advance economic development projects in Missouri while also improving capacity and safety.
The City of Ozark, in partnership with Christian County, Ozark Special Road District, and the Finley Farms Transportation Development District, submitted an application to receive some of these funds for a project in Ozark. We were fortunately successful in our application and in the summer of 2020 received a Governor’s Cost Share Grant with a project scope that included:
1. The reconstruction and rehabilitation of the 95-year old Mill Pond Bridge;
2. The reconstruction of the intersection of North 3rd Street and McCracken Road;
3. The rising of the roadway elevation to provide new storm water boxes that will decrease the negative impact of frequent flooding events;
4. Improve safety with the addition of new intersection approaches, striped turn lanes, directional islands, and improved signage.
This project was originally scheduled for late summer 2020, however, due to the COVID pandemic causing supply and labor shortages, increased costs, and funding delays an extension request was necessary and a new “Phased” timeline was developed as outlined below:
Crews will begin construction on the improvements to the 3rd and McCracken intersection and the Rehabilitation of the McCracken Road Bridge on December 5, 2022. Work will include the reconstruction of the 3rd and McCracken intersection to allow a thru north-south traffic movement. Improvements will also include the addition of multi-use pedestrian tunnels below McCracken Road and 3rd Street. The pedestrian tunnels will serve new trails connecting the Finley River Park, the Ozark Mill site, and the future Garrison Branch trail extension. Lastly the improvements will include the rehabilitation of the existing McCracken Road Bridge over the Finley River. The improvements are anticipated to occur in five (5) phases.
Phase ONE (1) COMPLETED will consist of the installation of the northern pedestrian tunnel crossing under McCracken Road just west of the existing 3rd Street intersection. This phase will require the closure of McCracken Road from 4th Street to 3rd Street. McCracken Road will be closed beginning December 19th. It is anticipated that McCracken Road will be closed until February 6, 2023 (weather pending). Please see attached map for exact closure location. We have also included DETOUR maps.
Phase TWO (2) IN PROGRESS will consist of the installation of the southern pedestrian tunnel crossing under 3rd Street just north of the existing Fire Station entrance. It is anticipated that this phase will begin February 6, 2023 (weather dependent) and will extend thru the second week of March.
PHASE TWO UPDATE: 3.22.23
McCracken Bridge will be closed from Monday March 27 for approximately two weeks. Detour routes will be marked. Please see map below:
Phase TWO UPDATE: 4.7.23
Third Street is reopen on 4.7.23. Mill Pond Bridge has been lifted off the river and placed on the road to begin the restoration process.
South Detour Plan:
North Route Detour Plan
Phase THREE (3) will consist of off road utility and trail work along 3rd Street, McCracken Road and near the Finley River Park’s southern entrance.(more information will be posted as the project develops)
Phase FOUR (4) will consist of the completion of the intersection grading and paving. This work is anticipated to begin sometime in early March. (more information will be posted as the project develops)
Phase FIVE (5) will consist of the closure of McCracken Road and the refurbishment of the McCracken Road Bridge. (more information will be posted as the project develops)
The City recognizes that this public improvement project works in conjunction to improve traffic flow in the area, achieve pedestrian safety improvements, improves the McCracken Street and 3rd Street intersection, and improves storm water management during flood stage events eliminating the closure of the McCracken St. and Riverside Road intersection. We appreciate your patience as we complete these improvements.
If you have any questions or concerns about the project, please feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 417-581-7002 ext 2001.
LARGE TRUCK ROUTE DETOUR= The weight limit on Mill Pond Bridge is fifteen (15) Ton.