Transportation Plan Has Funds for New Bridge - The Missourian: Local News

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Transportation Plan Has Funds for New Bridge

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Posted: Saturday, August 3, 2013 6:32 pm | Updated: 7:17 pm, Sun Aug 4, 2013.

It’s official.

The project to build a new Missouri River bridge at Washington is in the new 2014-17 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) approved Wednesday by the East-West Gateway Council of Governments.

The East-West Gateway board of directors, consisting of local representatives from St. Louis City, Franklin, Jefferson, St. Charles and St. Louis counties and two counties in southwest Illinois, is responsible for authorizing federal funds for local transportation projects.

The new TIP estimates that the project will cost $60.1 million by the time it is completed in 2019. The TIP includes $56,339,000 in state funds and $800,000 in local funds for a total of $57,139,000 to cover the cost of engineering ($3,516,000), right of way ($476,000) and actual construction ($53,147,000).

The $800,000 in local funds are dedicated for bridge enhancements not covered by the state.

Last summer, the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission included the bridge project in its annual State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP).

Judy Wagner, MoDOT area engineer for Franklin and Jefferson counties, said that while the new TIP designates that state funds will be used for the bridge construction, those are actually federal funds allocated to the state.

No federal earmarks or grants will be used on the project “at this time,” Wagner said.

However, the city is considering applying for federal funds to help pay for proposed enhancements that exceed the $800,000 contributed by the city ($500,000), Franklin County ($250,000) and Warren County ($50,000).

A special committee assigned to develop a priority list of enhancements still is taking public comments on the current plan which includes lighting of horizontal girders and piers, decorative fencing between the driving lanes and pedestrian bike path on the west side, lighting along the path and one or more overhead arches.

The committee is scheduled to make its final recommendation by Aug. 16 in order for the engineering and design work to proceed.

Construction of the bridge, which will feature two 12-foot-wide driving lanes and 10-foot shoulders, is scheduled to begin in late 2016 with the new span opening to traffic in 2018.

The new bridge will be constructed just west of the current span.

The 77-year-old bridge is slated to be demolished in 2019 after the new span is completed.

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