Pouring the concrete driving surface on the Highway 47 bridge over the Missouri River is expected to begin next month.
That’s according to Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) Area Engineer Judy Wagner who said that paving will begin on the north side of the river.
“We will actually start seeing the driving structure,” she commented.
Wagner told the Washington Area Transportation Committee Monday that work is progressing well at the bridge construction site, but the overall project completion date has been pushed back, as expected.
Work had been slated to end Nov. 1, 2018, but the revised completion date is mid-December.
In June, Alberici Constructors Inc., the contractor for the bridge, requested additional time to complete the project due to setbacks during flooding in late April and into May.
“These are justified days based on flooding,” Wagner said. “There is the potential that it will get done before that (new deadline).”
Wagner explained the contract between Alberici and MoDOT stipulates that an extension could be granted in the event of major flooding.
Alberici was delayed several 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.
Once the floodwater receded construction crews conducted a “substantial project cleanup.” That entailed removing debris from the access trail, work area, cofferdam, causeways and other areas.
When asked about demolition plans for the current bridge by transportation committee chairman William Straatmann, Wagner noted the bridge would be imploded by sections. She stated Alberici will own the structure and will salvage materials.
Alberici crews began work on the $63 million project in mid-August 2016 after the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission awarded the contract.
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, is proposed 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.