The contractor for the Highway 47 bridge over the Missouri River at Washington was not on site Tuesday due to extreme cold.
That’s according to Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) Area Engineer Judy Wagner, who said the frigid temperatures may lead to a cancelation of work by Alberici Construction Inc. all week. That has not yet been determined, she added.
Wagner noted that taking the week off should not push back the completion deadline.
“Not if it is just a week,” she said. “It is not productive to be out there this cold.”
Temperatures through Friday are not predicted to reach more than 20 degrees.
According to Wagner, it could be dangerous for crews to work those temperatures and the equipment may not function efficiently.
She said there are some crews still working, including workers building the retaining wall on the south side of the bridge.
Wagner added there are ice chunks flowing down the Missouri River but it is not frozen.
Wagner said she is pleased with the progress on the bridge which is about 50 percent completed.
“That’s huge,” she said about the progress.
Alberici crews began work on the $63 million bridge project in August 2016 after the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission awarded the contract.
Work had been slated to end Nov. 1, 2018, but the revised completion date is mid-December. In June, Alberici requested additional time to complete the project due to setbacks during flooding.
Alberici was delayed weeks due to flooding after nearly 11 inches of rain fell between April 26 and May 5.
When forecasts indicated flooding would impact the bridge site, the contractor moved equipment to higher ground. The river crested at 31.88 feet May 4.
The project involves building a new 2,560-foot-long bridge just to the west — upstream — from the existing span, which was completed in 1936.
The new structure is designed with two 12-foot driving lanes, two 10-foot shoulders and a 10-foot-wide biking/walking path along the west side. An overlook, where walkers and bikers can stop and view the river and cityscape, will be at the center bridge pier.
The new bridge path will connect to a biking/walking path along Highway 47, north of the river, which ties into the state’s Katy Trail, one of the longest continuous bicycle trails in the United States.