Lake Wappapello visitors upset with Route T replacement plans, MoDOT responds

LAKE WAPPAPELLO, MO (KFVS) - Planning is already underway to rebuild Route T after water from the Lake Wappapello spillway washed it away earlier this month.

While the new road will cut miles off the current bypass, not everyone is happy with how the road is going to be replaced.

It's a different scene at Lake Wappapello after flood waters got so high, it rushed over the emergency spillway.

It wasn't long before that water made its way to Route T, eventually washing away the highway and leaving its concrete culverts scattered.

David Wyman is Southeast Missouri Department of Transportation's area engineer.

"It washed out about five or six of those completely and it still a few of those still there," Wyman said. "The section of those pipes are scattered down in the stream.The corp has a spillway there that functions to allow that water to discharge out of the lake, so basically, we have to build something that they would allow."

MoDOT's plan is to come out here and build Route T like it has before, but some folks are asking why not build a bridge.

Steven Fodge owns a camper at Lake Wappapello.

"It's a no brainer, they should put a bridge in," Fodge said.

Fodge said he doesn't understand why MoDOT is continuing to repair a proven failure.

"If this road continues doing what it's been doing every time a road comes in here and a road goes out," he said "A bridge to me is the best thing to go with."

Wyman agreed that it's a good idea, but it just doesn't fit into MoDOT's budget.

"We estimate to build a bridge that would completely span that would be 40 million dollars," he said. "It's just a whole lot of money that we don't have."

Until that type of money is available, Wyman said he plans to focus on getting Route T back up and running.

"We hope to get a contract underway at the first part of the summer," Wyman said. "As quick as we can and we hope to get the project completed at the lather to the middle part of the summer, again as quick as we can."

MoDOT engineers said each time it cost a little over a million dollars to repair Route T.

Construction is expected to start after Memorial Day.

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