MoDOT may utilize a low water crossing to accommodate farm equipment during construction of a new Highway 47 bridge over Lake Creek at Dutzow next year.

The project also may not begin until next June after most of the planting season is over, Erik Maninga, MoDOT area engineer for Warren County, told members of the Washington Area Highway Transportation Committee this week.

Plans are to construct a new Lake Creek bridge in two stages and keep one traffic lane open that will be controlled by signal lights.

However, during a recent meeting to present plans to the public, a main concern was that the single lane that would be open for traffic will be too narrow for farm equipment, Maninga said.

“We’re looking at building a low water crossing for farm equipment only,” Maninga said. “And not start the project until June 1 after (crop) planting is done.

“We heard the concerns and are working to address them,” he told the committee.

“A lot of times, the contractor will build a low water crossing for their equipment and we would be looking to utilize it for farm equipment,” he said.

Maninga said MoDOT is looking at a 60- to 70-day schedule to complete the new bridge, but plans to build in incentives for the contractor if work is completed sooner.

There will be some inconveniences for motorists, mainly during peak times, due to keeping the bridge open during construction, MoDOT officials have said.

There will also be some temporary lane closures using flaggers before and after bridge construction to repair shoulders and resurface the Highway 47 and Highway 94 intersection. These closures will occur during nighttime hours.

The new bridge will feature a 40-foot-wide roadway with 12-foot lanes, 8-foot shoulders, and will be 138 feet long.

The existing bridge, built in 1933, is only 26 feet wide and 113 feet long.

Planners expect the bridge project to be completed by Oct. 1, 2014.