The Bates County Commission has been “actively” working to improve the roads in Bates County by working with the Township Boards and having the County Road and Bridge personnel replace metal culverts with new ones and using plastic culverts in areas that the metal culverts don’t hold up very long. We were able to provide an additional $2,000 to each of the Townships to use to better prepare the roads for the winter.
This past year the Commission replaced two (2) large metal culverts in the Papinville area. These culverts were installed by the Army Corps of Engineers when Truman Lake was built. Their bottoms had rusted out and were starting to show signs of collapse. The culverts were replaced by both the Road and Bridge personnel and local farmers. A great “joint” effort involving the community.
This past year the Commission decided to start having the Road and Bridge personnel build the concrete box culverts. The need to replace the concrete boxes had gotten to the point, something different had to be done. We hired two (2) additional persons to work on the concrete crew and they were able to build seven (7) new concrete boxes since September. We purchased a concrete bucket that will allow dispersal of concrete easier than moving the delivery truck. Also, a “Retriever” to pull the edge of the roadway back to the road bed, similar to what MoDOT uses for the shoulders on the highways.
This past year the crew replaced seventy-six (76) metal culverts, replacing them throughout the County. They mowed over 500 miles of road easement, sold and delivered 120 culverts to the Townships. They replaced and made 110 road signs that had been either damaged or stolen.
We have worked on the drainage issues around the Courthouse. Taking the rainwater away from the building and running it into a pit in the Courtyard to reduce the runoff to the street. Next project for the Courthouse is getting it “Tuck pointed” to keep the moisture from entering. All the concrete around the building will be removed and dirt and grass will be placed back against the building to keep the water from flowing to the building.
The Commission for the past two years, 2020 and 2021, have replaced two (2) bridges that MoDOT inspections revealed needed to be replaced. These bridges are funded 80% by MoDOT and US Department of Transportation and 20% by the County. We are currently having another bridge built under this program. We have advised the Engineering Company, Great River, to start working on replacing another bridge for 2023, if MoDOT will allow us to move forward.
MoDOT is going to close “B” Highway, east of Rich Hill, to replace two (2) bridges that have “structural issues”. MoDOT did not have an alternative route designated nor provide funding to Osage Township to assistance to improve a County Road that would be used by everyone. The Commissioners stepped up and provided additional funding to help build up the road and worked with local farmers to get material to raise the road. This was done to provide not just traffic a more direct route to the Communities east of Rich Hill, but to provide any Emergency Services a better access also.
Ken Mooney Jim Wheatley Trent Nelson
Northern Commissioner Presiding Commissioner Southern Commissioner