The Memorial Parkway bridge is nearly finished and rivers should be able to use the new bridge in December.
City Engineer Jonathan Zimmermann said the bridge is expected to open well before the May date in the contract. The bridge itself is nearly done, he said. All that’s left is the finishing touches.
Crews were out Tuesday afternoon working on asphalting the new approaches to the bridge. Zimmermann said once the paving is wrapped up, safety measures around the bridge would be the final step.
The bridge will need fencing and guardrails before it can officially open.
Whenever those pieces arrive will determine the opening date, he added.
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 with 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 Memorial Parkway project included the removal of the existing bridge over Flat Creek located on Memorial Drive near the fairgrounds. The work also includes a new bridge, sidewalks, curb and gutter work, and a guardrail.
With that work mostly done, the attention will now turn to the Christina Avenue portion of the project, which 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 the realignment of the approach roadway, sidewalks, striping and more.
The Christina span work has moved slower than the Memorial project. Zimmermann said rain has been a big factor.
Rain has caused the creek to rise and has impacted the project area. Every day of rain usually takes a day to recover from, he said.
Once the work is clear of the creek, Zimmermann 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.
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.