Work on the Highway 47 Missouri River bridge resumed Monday following two weeks of delays due to flooding.
According to Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) Area Engineer Judy Wagner, construction crews began moving equipment to higher ground April 28 due to the forecasted flooding.
She explained that the bridge contractor, Alberici Constructors Inc., demobilized and moved equipment to higher ground beginning April 28.
Due to changes in the forecast, equipment and materials were again moved to higher ground May 2.
Between April 26 and May 5, the total rainfall was 10.98 inches. The Missouri River at Washington crested at 31.88 feet May 4 at 12:45 p.m.
Wagner said when the floodwater receded construction crews conducted a “substantial project cleanup” May 8-13. That entailed removing debris from the access trail, work area, cofferdam, causeways and other areas.
She added that the stop in work should not have an impact on the overall completion date of the project.
“I don’t think we are in a detrimental stage (of delays),” she said. “I still think we can keep on the overall schedule.”
The bridge, when finished, will have eight piers. Work is nearly finished on some of the piers, but workers have yet to start on others.
On Monday, work resumed on the cofferdam and pier 5 of the bridge.
Before the concrete for the piers was poured, crews dug deep down into the dirt and rock. Drilling went down 100 feet until rock was reached and then went an additional 15 to 20 feet. Because of the natural line of the Earth, crews won’t have to drill as far down as work moves toward Franklin County, according to MoDOT officials.
The project began in August 2016 and is slated to open in the fall of 2018.
Alberici crews began work on the $63 million project in mid-August after the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission awarded the contract.
The project involves building a new 2,560-foot-long bridge just to the west — upstream — from the existing span which was completed in 1936.
The new structure is designed with two 12-foot driving lanes, two 10-foot shoulders and a 10-foot-wide biking/walking path along the west side. An overlook, where walkers and bikers can stop and view the river and cityscape, is proposed at the center bridge pier.
The new bridge path will connect to a biking/walking path along Highway 47, north of the river, which ties into the state’s Katy Trail, one of the longest continuous bicycle trails in the United States.
Demolition of the old bridge and finishing touches on the project will be completed in 2019.