LIBERTY, Mo. — Liberty faces growing pains as traffic congestion worsens at one of the main gateways to the Northland city more and more people and businesses are eager to call home.
According to the city officials, nearly 50,000 vehicles pass through the Missouri 152/Interstate 35 interchange each day with traffic expected to increase to 84,000 vehicles by 2040.
That's why the Missouri 152 bridge over I-35 is set for demolition with a new, wider span planned that also includes more turn lanes.
Nearby businesses, which understand that short-term pain may lead to long-term gain, are cautiously optimistic about the project.
"We’re hoping that it doesn’t impact business too terribly bad," Charlie's Car Wash General Manager A.J. Freymuth said. "I’m confident, in the end, our customers will move through Liberty in a much more efficient manner that will overall help our business."
Still, some drivers are leery about what to do until the new bridge is constructed.
"I think going to the school is going to be hard, going to the doctor's appointments, the hospital up there — really any store, so that’s a big problem," Maria Remary said.
Shawn Leslie agreed, "Sounds like it’s going to be a pretty big inconvenience."
The bridge will be demolished May 31. The Missouri Department of Transportation hopes to complete the project in September 2020.