The next phase of the Highway 47 bridge over the Missouri River is slated to begin next week with the installation of girders on the structure.
Girders will arrive early next week by truck and they are slated to be installed overnight from Tuesday, Feb. 27, through Thursday, March 1.
Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) Area Engineer Judy Wagner said the girders arriving next week will connect pier No. 10, the southernmost pier, to pier No. 9.
“These girders are probably the most exciting part of the project because you can see the connections from pier to pier,” she said.
During the work, motorists should expect intermittent closures for up to 30 minutes at a time up to three times a night from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. All work is weather permitting.
Wagner explained that the trucks will be staged on Highway 47 south of the current bridge until Monday night when they will be moved from trucks and placed on the new piers by crane.
Motorists should be aware that the girders will be stored on Highway 47 between the Missouri River and Third Street, and near Steutermann and Bieker roads. Drivers are asked to use caution when driving past the girders.
It is estimated that the bridge is now more than 50 percent completed.
Alberici Constructors crews began work on the $63 million bridge project in August 2016 after the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission awarded the contract.
Work had been slated to end Nov. 1, 2018, but the revised completion date is mid-December. In June, Alberici requested additional time to complete the project due to setbacks during flooding.
Alberici was delayed weeks in 2017 due to flooding after nearly 11 inches of rain fell between April 26 and May 5.
When forecasts indicated flooding would impact the bridge site, the contractor moved equipment to higher ground. The river crested at 31.88 feet May 4.
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, will be 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.
The old bridge will be demolished in early 2019. For more information on the project, go to www.modot.org/stlouis/major_projects/Route47MissouriRiverBridge/.