Drivers turned around as Odessa refuses to post detour route

ODESSA, Mo. - Nobody likes to see a road closure, and what's worse is when it comes without a detour. In Odessa, that's how city leaders want it, even though driver after driver keeps getting lost.

A section of Old 40 Highway that gets drivers back on to Interstate 70 is closed for bridge construction, and there are no signs telling out-of-towners where to go.

"It just kind of confused me, so I turned around," Gayle Tilley said as she drove through a restaurant parking lot.

Susan Woodward is traveling from California to Pennsylvania with her husband Dave. They stopped in Odessa for lunch and found themselves in the same predicament.

"Not familiar with these parts, so this is really confusing," Susan Woodward said.

She's shocked by the lack of detour signs but city administrator Jon Holmes said no detour is no mistake.

"That's not something we want to subject the residents in this area to," Holmes said.

Since the detour would go on city streets, Holmes said the City of Odessa is responsible for posting the signs. He said the streets can't handle all the traffic, speed and heavy trucks.

"It'll tear it up in just a very short amount of time," Holmes said.

He said even though the lack of information is confusing for drivers, that's the way it will stay.

Susan Woodward thinks that's the wrong idea.

"We use the businesses here. So the town should appreciate if they want people to stop here and use the businesses. They need to let us know," Woodward said.

Drivers can navigate their way back to eastbound I-70 by driving south through Odessa on Second Street, east on Main Street and north on Johnson Drive.

MoDOT said the Old 40 Highway will be back open by the end of July.

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