A contract for engineering work to design a new Highway 47 bridge at Washington could be awarded as early as July.

Members of the Missouri Highway 47 Bridge Committee were informed of the news by an engineering firm during Tuesday morning’s meeting.

Judy Wagner, area engineer with the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT), confirmed it later Tuesday.

MoDOT has allocated $500,000 for the preliminary design and engineering work.

MoDOT will seek letters of interest from engineering firms and after narrowing the firms down to a small list and interviewing them, a contractor could be selected by July.

That could be about the same time that Missouri Highways and Transportation commissioners vote on including a new bridge in the upcoming Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP).

Wagner told The Missourian that MoDOT will award a contract “no matter if it’s on the STIP or not.”

The state commission will meet in Washington Wednesday, July 11, at 10 a.m. in the city council chambers.

Commissioners are expected to arrive on the evening of Tuesday, July 10, and have an informal meet-and-greet with city officials and bridge committee members.

The state highways commission normally adopts the STIP sometime during the summer each year.

MoDOT has a cost participation agreement with Washington as well as Franklin and Warren counties that states if a new bridge is included in the upcoming STIP, the city and counties will contribute $800,000 toward “enhancements” for the new bridge.

The city and counties are required to deposit their contribution with the state commission by Dec. 31, 2012, and that money would be invested by the commission.

The money, plus interest earned, will be reimbursed to the city and counties if a construction contract for a new bridge is not awarded by Dec. 31, 2018, the agreement states, “unless the parties agree in writing to extend this deadline because of good faith efforts being made by the commission.”

The last time the commission met in Washington was in early June of 2008.

Pennies for Bridge

During the July 11 meeting, the bridge committee and area schools plan to present the state commissioners with money raised through the “Pennies for the Bridge” program.

Bob Zick, bridge committee chairman, said he and Mayor Sandy Lucy met with principals in the Washington School District, who agreed to hold the fund drive in May.

“We had a good reception from the meeting with the principals,” Zick said. “The point of this whole effort is to build enthusiasm and allow kids to have some fun.”

Lucy plans to meet with the parochial schools to get those students involved, too.


Last month, MoDOT applied for $20 million in Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) discretionary grants.

Wagner said it could be late May or early June when applicants are notified if they received grant funds or not.

A total of $500 million has been allocated for TIGER grants this year.