Boonville bypass finally opens

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Boonville drivers can finally say “finished.” The long-awaited bypass opened to traffic Friday.

After 3 years of work, waiting, and watching, it all ended as the first cars came down the nearly-two mile stretch connecting State Road 62 to New Harmony Road north of the city.

It allows car, but mainly heavy trucks to get go around the city without cutting through downtown. It’s designed to keep semis carrying coal away from the city square.

“We’re certainly not against industry or anything because that’s how we made our livings,” said Boonville Mayor, Charlie Wyatt. “It’d be a lot safer if they were outside city limits and a lot cleaner for sure.”

The project cost more than $20 million.

Wyatt can remember people talking about a bypass when he was a boy. He says the city is on top of the mountain now.

 Alcoa donated about 35 acres of land to finish the road.

The ribbon was cut at Threshermans Park with Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch, State Rep. Ron Bacon, and other project leaders.

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(This story was originally published August 17, 2018)

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