Bridge Work Continues

In minus-10 degree weather, crews worked Dec. 27 on a temporary dam across the Meramec below the steel span of the new Bend Bridge. Work will begin this week to install decking between the girders in preparation for the concrete roadbed. The bridge is scheduled to be completed by the end of June. Missourian Photo.

Despite a cold snap that dropped temperatures to minus-10 degrees, a construction crew was at work on the temporary causeway at river level for the new Bend Bridge project.

Ron Williams, Franklin County highway administrator, said the new Bend Bridge that spans the Meramec River at Pacific is on schedule.

The bridge is a key access point between the communities of Robertsville, Catawissa and rural Pacific to the city of Pacific.

The new bridge will replace the 99-year-old truss bridge, which Miller & Borcherding of St. Louis completed in 1918.

In the last week of December, the steel girders spanned the piers that elevate the bridge to riverbank level on both sides of the river.

Beginning this week, decking or forms will be placed between the girders, which will take approximately a month to complete.

When forms are in place and weather permits, the concrete roadbed will be poured in one continuous pour, according to Williams.

“They have a schedule for the bridge to be completed by the end of June,” he said. “That puts them within their contract period of 320 working days.”

Work on the bridge began in October 2016 and progressed until rising water covered the temporary dam that the contractor built across the river channel.

Lehman Construction, general contractor, temporarily stopped construction when the May floodwaters covered the temporary dam. The project was considered 50 percent complete when work was halted due to the flood.

Work resumed in September with the construction of a new box culvert across Bend Road north of the bridge at the point where the new span will connect with Highway N and installation of the steel girders.

The project is estimated to cost $4.3 million with an 80/20 federal split, leaving the county to pay about $1 million.

Lehman Construction Company, based in California, Mo., was the low bidder at $4,289,738.