Members of the Washington Bridge Committee agreed with the enhancement committee’s decision not to further pursue a tied arch structure for the new span over the Missouri River.
Bob Zick, committee chairman, provided an update to bridge committee members during a meeting Tuesday, March 19.
The arch would have to be over the main channel span, which is on the south end of the bridge.
Zick said architects brought it to their attention that the arch would be seen from the northernmost point of the riverfront parking lot, but wouldn’t be seen from other areas of town like the riverfront or Front Street.
“The view of the span would be pretty much obstructed (from other areas of town),” he said. “Furthermore, the tied arch structure is going to be several million dollars more expensive than a girder bridge.”
Zick said engineers have all but abandoned the idea of a tied arch for those reasons.
“We couldn’t lodge any logical complaint or objection to them abandoning that process,” he said.
The committee is now looking at other bridge design options, including one where the strength of the structure is built into the design.
“Therefore because it’s functional, and because it’s supporting the bridge, it’s a MoDOT expenditure and not an enhancement expenditure,” he explained
Arden Engelage, committee member, said he thinks not using the arch is a good idea in terms of aesthetics.
“I think the bridge will look better from all angles,” he said, adding that having the arch on one side would take away from the bridge.
Committee members said they didn’t realize at first that the arch couldn’t be in the middle of the bridge.
“I knew the channel was (on the south side), but I didn’t realize that the arch had to be over the channel,” said Mayor Sandy Lucy, who is on the enhancement committee.
“The practicalities of bridge construction are starting to hit us and make us realize that there are certain things we can and can’t do,” Zick said. “I think we took a major step in realizing that we need to quit fooling around with the tied arch concept and become a little more practical and do something that’s going to work for our particular bridge and our channel alignment.
Ray Frankenberg, committee member, said it was fiscally responsible not to go with the arch.