If all goes to plan, drivers should be able to use the new Memorial Parkway bridge by the first of December.
City Engineer Jonathan Zimmermann said the rapidly moving project is wrapping up. At Monday’s personnel, finance and public works committee meeting, he said the project should be done well before the May date in the contract.
Zimmermann said the bridge deck, sidewalks have all been poured. The barrier walls were expected to be poured this week.
He said crews have torn out the intersection and the plan is to pour sidewalks for the rest of the week. At some point next week, he said the goal would be to have the sidewalk work finished.
Once that work is done, he said asphalt work around the bridge would begin as soon as the sidewalk work is done.
“That bridge, we are going to have it open, at or before Dec. 1,” he said. “That’s our goal anyway.”
The only issue with the Memorial Bridge project so far has been damage done to concrete blocks owned by the Franklin County Fair Board. The blocks are used during the demolition derby and tractor pulls as barrier walls.
The blocks have been stored near the fairgrounds and near the new bridge. Alderman Bob Schmuke said the construction company, KCI Construction, St. Louis, has used and broken some of the blocks. He said the Fair Board was concerned about replacing the blocks.
Zimmermann said the issue was known and would be addressed by KCI before the project was closed out.
While the Memorial bridge is wrapping up, the Christina Avenue span is still trying to get out of the water.
Zimmermann said progress has been slow because of rain. He said every time it rains, water in the creek rises and it takes a day to recover.
“It’s a constant fight,” he said.
During the dry time, he said crews are working to get out of the water. He said the crews are close to reaching the point.
Once the work is clear of the creek, he said things should pick up.
Crews also are racing against winter, he said. Work is harder in colder temperatures. He said when things get into the low 40s, working with concrete becomes difficult.
As temperatures drop even further, the project gets more challenging.
“We’re trying to beat all that,” he said.
The contract calls for the project to take 270 days and wrap up in May.
In June, the city awarded a contract to KCI Construction Company, St. Louis, for the replacement of the Memorial Parkway and Christina Avenue spans. KCI’s bid was for $1,671,364.73.
The city has had difficulty trying to replace the two bridges because of budgeting issues. The deal awarded to KCI was considered over budget, but the city agreed to use reserve funds to cover the overage.
The project is being partially funded by federal money. Zimmermann said the federal portion of the project is a little over $1 million.
According to the EWGW TIP 2019-22 budget, the Memorial Parkway bridge was estimated to cost a total of $747,090 with the city paying $167,692.
The Christina Avenue bridge was budgeted at $906,655 with $491,856 being federal dollars and $327,501 being local money, according to the EWGW 2018-21 budget.
The Christina Avenue work includes the complete removal and replacement of the bridge over Flat Creek near the city tennis courts. The project includes the construction of a 30-foot concrete slab span on concrete wall abutments.
The project also includes construction of the approach roadway, sidewalks, striping and more.
The Memorial Parkway project is the removal of the existing bridge also over Flat Creek located on Memorial Drive near the fairgrounds. The work will include a new bridge, sidewalks, curb and gutter work, and a guardrail.
The Christina Avenue bridge was built in 1932 and has a sufficiency rating of 46.9 percent. The Memorial Parkway bridge had a sufficiency rating of 33.8 percent in 2014. The bridge was built in 1974.
Once the Memorial bridge and the Christina Avenue span are replaced, the city will have zero insufficient bridges, Zimmermann said.