JOPLIN, MO.--- "If you build a bridge on 15th street, you're gonna cut them off," states David Hertzberg, Director of Public Works.
Joplin city leaders were at odds over a proposed viaduct over the 15th street rail lines as part of a TIGER Grant the city received in July.
"The TIGER Grant is a 12 million dollar grant and it had a list of projects. 15th street was one of the listed projects on there," states Troy Richard, Joplin Building Material President.
The grant features road projects and also proposes a viaduct at 20th street. That will not directly effect business owners as much as the 15th street bridge.
"We would now be basically, after it's completion, underneath a bridge. We'd be a retail outlet that sits underneath a bridge," states Richard.
A bridge could have blocked more than 12 businesses, and owners in the area claimed they were left in the dark and didn't know details about the plans.
"We have not seen anybody from the city. We've been promised that someone would be out here within 2 to 3 weeks, and that was 2 to 3 weeks ago," says Richard.
City officials say the federal funding left them with a tight time frame.
"So that shortened the process which shortened the amount of public input," states Hertzberg.
City leaders heard the concerns of the business owners and consistently made the point it would never be their desire to close a business down.
"Council's directed us to go into negotiations with the Federal Highway Administration to delete the 15th street project," states Hertzberg.
Businesses on 15th street will continue business uninterrupted..
"It's not logical for us to move unless we just have to. That's not in my plans at this point," states Richard.
The next step, is for public works officials to negotiate with the Federal Highway Association about what to do with nearly half-a-million dollars that would have funded the 15th street project. City leaders will vote on a new plan without the 15th street viaduct at the next city council meeting.