The Memorial Parkway bridge replacement project is moving at a rapid pace, but that means road closures in that area are coming soon.
City Engineer Jonathan Zimmermann updated Union aldermen on the city’s two bridge projects at Monday’s personnel, finance and public works committee meetings. The Memorial Parkway and Christina Avenue are simultaneously being replaced.
Zimmermann said the Memorial Parkway project is further ahead and significant progress has been made. The old bridge has been completely removed and new bents and beams have been installed.
By Friday, weather permitting, crews are expected to begin pouring the deck and the approach slabs.
Once that work is done, crews will shift to curb and gutter, and sidewalk work around the bridge area, which will require road closures.
Weather permitting, Zimmermann said crews plan on closing Memorial Parkway at JayCee Drive starting Monday. The closure is expected to last two weeks.
The closure means the “loop” from Clark-Vitt Elementary around the city lake and fairgrounds will be cut off. Zimmermann said he’s already been in communication with the Union R-XI School District and is planning on meeting with police to discuss the closure.
Zimmermann said the Memorial Parkway work has been a very “clean” project so far. He said crews are working hard and making major strides. Zimmermann was asked if the project could be wrapped up early — maybe even as early as Christmas.
The project is contractually scheduled to wrap up in May 2020.
Zimmermann said he wasn’t sure when all the work will be done, but it’s trending toward early. He couldn’t say if it would be done before Christmas, but he said it may be close.
The Christina Avenue span, which was started after Memorial Parkway project, is on schedule, but not moving along as fast. Zimmermann said the old bridge was removed and work is expected to ramp up shortly.
He said rain has been an issue, and will be for the duration of the project.
Roads around both bridge have been blocked off for the project. Detour signs have been posted around the area of the two bridges alerting drivers to the road closures.
The project is slated to take 270 days, meaning it should wrap up in May.
Work started in late August after the city awarded a contract to KCI Construction Company, St. Louis, for the both bridge replacements in June. 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 bid from KCI was the second for the Christina Avenue span and the second to come in over budget. Late last year aldermen rejected a bid for the Christina bridge because it was almost $200,000 more than engineers’ estimates.
The Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) and the city agreed to package the Christina bridge with the Memorial Parkway bridge in hopes of lowering the costs.
It didn’t work, as the bid from KCI still came in over budget. However, the city decided to move forward with the project.
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.