Bridges Connect Rural Communities

Bridge on Highway

(MoDOT) – MAITLAND, Mo. – For the citizens of Maitland and Graham, the bridge over the Nodaway River is a lifeline between the two rural communities. Maitland Mayor Mark Russell took some time recently to talk about the role the bridge plays in the life of the towns and what it would mean if the bridge were to close.

Rural communities have seen businesses move to larger towns and have had to combine resources to survive. Maitland and Graham children attend Nodaway-Holt RVII and any closure of the bridge can be a burden on both parents and the district’s resources.

“It’s really vital to our community, especially Graham and Maitland as far as the school goes,” he explained. “Children have to be transported back and forth across this. Without that bridge, they have considerably more mileage and gas consumption.”

Flooding in 2014 closed the bridge for one week in September. When the bridge, which is more than 50 years old, reopened, it had a weight restriction until repairs could be made to one of the bridge supports. Closing the bridge, even for a short time, put a huge burden on the residents on both sides of the bridge who count on it for their everyday needs.

“Maitland has the only gas station in this area,” Russell said. “If you can’t get to Maitland you can’t get gas. Our gas station and convenience store is basically the center of our community.”

Through four key pillars of transportation – roads, bridges, safety and economic development – the Missouri Department of Transportation is spotlighting business owners, workers, parents, students and travelers, all of whom have unique stories to tell about what matters most to them.