The lengthy project to replace two bridges will start the week of Aug. 19.

City Engineer Jonathan Zimmermann said crews will be mobilizing that week to start the project to replace the Memorial Parkway and Christina Avenue spans.

Zimmermann said work will start first on Memorial Parkway. The old span will be removed and new footings will be installed.

Once that is done, crews will move to the Christina Avenue bridge and repeat the process. That means both spans will be down at the same time.

Zimmermann said the Union R-XI School District has already been briefed about the plans. 

The project is contracted to take 270 days meaning it is expected to be wrapped up some time in May. Zimmermann said the city will work on communicating with people about the bridge closures throughout the project.

While he expects the work to cause some traffic headaches, he’s hopeful people like the results. Zimmermann said he expects the new bridges and realignments will be a positive for the community. 

Bridge Contractor

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. 

Zimmermann said the city and KCI recently had a preconstruction meeting and the project was schedules. He presented it to aldermen at Monday’s board meeting. 

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 bridge in hopes of lowering the costs. Zimmermann said that didn’t quite work.

He said combining the projects helped slightly, but the projects still are over budget. Zimmermann reported the bid from KCI was about 18 percent over estimates — mostly related to mobilization costs.

Because the bids were over the estimate twice now, Zimmermann said it didn’t make sense to go out for a third round. He said another round of bidding likely wouldn’t produce any significant savings and would alter the project time line.

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.

Project Background

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.