SKIDMORE, Mo. — City Clerk Meagan Morrow spoke to the Skidmore Board of Aldermen about information she received from the Missouri Department of Transportation about culvert care during last week’s meeting at Newton Hall.
Local residents had questioned the responsibilities of the city for cleaning the culverts of drives along State Highway 113 at the December board meeting. At the time the board believed the Missouri Department of Transportation was responsible for that duty along the state highway right of way.
After contacting MoDOT Northwest District Area Engineer Adam Watson, City Clerk Meagan Morrow told the board that MoDOT is only responsible for the culverts located along State Route DD, not State Highway 113.
The Forum reached out to Watson for more clarity on MoDOT’s responsibilities throughout the town. After a recent search, he said MoDOT does not have a deed for the highway and does not own State Highway 113.
“When we can’t find the deeds that say MoDOT owns ‘this,’ it almost always means that we don’t,” he said.
Watson continued explaining that the department does maintain the surface to keep it open and any culverts that run under the highway. The department does not handle culverts that run under driveways connecting to the highway.
“On 113, anything that would normally be a highway issue, we’re going to take care of to keep the highway open,” Watson said. “If the city jumps in and does it (clears culverts under the highway) … we’re going to go, ‘Thank you,’ and move on,” Watson said. “They are more than safe to do it. Hopefully they’re talking with their maintenance supervisor.”
He explained that different areas of Skidmore are handled by two area maintenance barns. State Route DD is handled by the MoDOT Maintenance Barn in Mound City. State Highway 113 is handled by the MoDOT Maintenance Barn in Clearmont and each has different maintenance supervisors.
“I’ll be honest I feel that all of the northwest (Missouri) is in the black hole of MoDOT care,” Watson said. “MoDOT as a whole is struggling. It really is struggling. In the 20 counties, that being Atchison over to Putnam County and (south, but) not Platte, we run about $6 million short a year, just keeping the roads in the same shape. That’s the truth of the matter. We’re doing the best that we can. … They (MoDOT workers) do a great job.”
Another part of any upkeep issue in Skidmore, Watson said, might be attributed to the fact that a lot of the maintenance crews in that area have been working to handle the flooding in the very northwest corner of the state.
At last week’s meeting Alderman Sandy Wright suggested starting in the spring, just having the culverts cleaned out. No decision was made.