Beginning in late spring or early summer, 12 bridges along a 30-mi. stretch of Interstate 44 will be replaced, with another seven to be rehabilitated.
Missouri is gearing up for a major bridge construction project along Interstate 44.
Beginning in late spring or early summer, 12 bridges along a 30-mi. stretch of the highway will be replaced, with another seven to be rehabilitated.
Many of the bridges date back to the 1960s, when the highway was built, and 10 have critical elements in poor condition, Greg Chapman, project manager of the Missouri Department of Transportation , said at a press conference Feb. 7 at the Missouri Department of Transportation Regional Office in Joplin.
The project, which will be overseen by MoDOT and the Federal Highway Administration, is budgeted at $36.1 million and is expected to be completed by December 2021. Emery Sapp & Sons, based in Columbia, Mo., was chosen as the lead contractor, in part because it was able to maximize the service life of as many bridges as possible with the funding available.
The company plans to work with Parson's Transportation Group of Washington, D.C.; Civil Design Inc., of St. Louis; Lochmueller Group, of St. Peters; and Dan Brown and Associates of Sequatchie, Tenn., according to a report in the Joplin Globe.
The project area is located between Mile Marker 29 near Sarcoxie and Lawrence County Route Z near Halltown. It is estimated that 40,000 vehicles travel I-44 on a daily basis.
"It carries a tremendous amount of goods and services every day," Chapman said. "It's a critical component to our economy, and we can't afford to allow these bridges to get to a point to where we're having one-lane closures and things of that nature."
While the project is "in line" with Gov. Mike Parson's goal to replace the state's aging infrastructure, including some of the 900 bridges the FWHA lists in poor condition, Chapman said that work on I-44 has long been planned under MoDOT's Statewide Transportation Improvement Program.
According to the project's website, lane closings and traffic shifts will be implemented at bridges under construction, and major delays can be expected at times, but at least one lane of I-44 will be open in each direction at all times. In addition, traffic may be diverted to detour routes, and drivers of large trucks are urged to find alternative routes.
For more information, visit www.modot.org/i-44-project-bridge-rebuild.