With the development at Eagle's Landing and Prewitt's Point driving business in Osage Beach and into Miller County east of the Grand Glaize Bridge, the opening of Highway 54 expressway and the creation of Osage Beach Parkway seemed to have little influence on the economic climate.
But when the west part of the expressway opened in Nov. 2011, business owners felt the sting of a traffic bypass on their businesses. The summer tourist season came and went and businesses expressed dire need for changes or their businesses would go under.
A West End coalition emerged with the goal to save the economy of west Osage Beach. The group pleaded with the city and with MoDOT to make the Parkway more accessible.
MoDOT ordered new expressway signage, but it may already be too late.
No long term solutions have emerged yet as a study by the Zanola Company released in November revealed a grim forecast: 95% of traffic over the next ten years will skip over the businesses in the West End — spelling economic doom for half of Osage Beach — if changes aren't made to the expressway.