September 14, 2004 – Posted at 3:30 p.m. CDT
PEMISCOT COUNTY -- Building a major highway can often take a long time. So when there is a ribbon-cutting ceremony to open a new stretch of road, folks get excited.
Now, folks can now travel on the U.S. 412 bypass around Hayti. Something Mayor Richard Ashbaugh says the bootheel town needed. "It was so congested in Hayti, that it was hard on the people that lived in the city, getting across the highway, and this bypass has opened the city up to where it's not congested," said Ashbaugh.
The $14 million dollar project has taken more than ten years to complete, but officials say the wait was worth it.
MoDOT District Engineer Scott Meyer said, "Making progress is one thing, but then to actually come out here and see motorist using it, the safety benefits, the congestion benefits, the time benefits. That's what the tax payers wants and it's really exciting."
Road crews will finish painting the new stretch of U.S. 412 and add signs Wednesday, but the road is now motorist-ready. Mayor Ashbaugh says the new highway will have a big impact on his little town.
"We're just feeling really good about it. I know it's going to take time for us to really get to growing, but I feel like in a few years, there will be a significant difference in this area and the growth of this area," said Ashbaugh.