The city has hired a contractor to build a new bridge over Busch Creek and extend 14th Street west of Stafford Street.

When completed, 14th Street will become a continuous connection between High Street on the west and Highway 47 on the east.

During their meeting Monday night, city council members unanimously approved an ordinance awarding the contract to K.J. Unnerstall Construction Co.

Unnerstall’s bid of $864,106 was the lowest of six bids received for the project. It is higher than the budgeted amount of $850,000, but below the engineer’s latest estimate of $991,306.25.

The council approved an alternate bid that calls for concrete rather than asphalt pavement for the new street section which will extend from Stafford Street to Huxel Drive, just east of High Street.

Fourteenth Street currently extends from High Street east to a dead-end stub just east of Huxel.

The bridge is proposed to have two 14-foot-wide driving lanes and a sidewalk on the north side.

The approaches to the bridge would transition to meet a 40-foot-wide street, from back of curb, on the east and west sides.

The proposed 14th Street bridge would have a similar cross section as the Westlink Drive bridge only narrower.

Extending 14th Street is in the city’s long-range transportation plan and was originally scheduled to be done in 2015.

However, council members decided to accelerate the project to provide an alternate east-west route during construction of additional Highway 100 lanes, from just west of Highway 47 to a point west of High Street.

The Highway 100 widening project is scheduled to be done in 2013 under a cost-sharing arrangement between the city and Missouri Department of Transportation.

Other contractors that submitted bids on the 14th Street improvements with concrete pavement were:

N.B. West Contracting Co., $932,049.75; Lamke Trenching and Excavating, $908,514.50; Kozeny Wagner, $1,021,633.05; Eckelkamp Excavating Inc., $1,000,757.50; and Demien Construction Co., $1,100,951.87.