Pipeline construction closes road leading to Tower Rock
PERRY COUNTY, Mo. (KFVS) - River levels are so low you can walk across to Tower Rock but now, due to construction, the only way to get to Tower Rock is by boat.
County officials have closed the one road that leads to Tower Rock for construction work. That, combined with the low river, is causing some chaos.
“It’s kind of a perfect storm right now,” Christopher Doran said. He is the Missouri Department of Conservation agent in Perry County.
He said the road is closed because of a pipeline construction project on PCR 460.
“A lot of construction equipment, a lot of folks that are in and out on a daily basis that need to get equipment and things in and out of that area,” Doran said.
The project started months ago, before river levels dropped. Now, Doran said they can’t accommodate extra traffic from Tower Rock visitors due to safety concerns.
“It’s not a very wide county road and it butts right up to the Mississippi River, so there’s not much room,” Doran said. “You’ve got the river on one side, and you’ve got the railroad tracks on the other side.”
But the road closure isn’t stopping everyone.
“For us, about an hour and a half,” Bob Hegel said.
Hegel traveled from St. Louis just for this.
“The river was way down, which I know from St. Louis it is, but you hardly ever get to see tower rock,” Hegel explained.
“It’s kind of a neat phenomenon kinda,” Doran said. “To be able to walk across the Mississippi River to a big rock.”
Doran said he understands the appeal of the rock, but public safety comes first.
“This isn’t done in response to Tower Rock and the popularity of Rower Rock and the amount of people who were there last year,” he said. “This construction project was scheduled far in advance of the river levels dropping.”
The road is closed, but the Tower Rock Natural area is open. So, you can visit, but only if you arrive to Tower Rock by boat. Officials are not sure when the road will reopen.
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