Highway 47 Bridge

Proposals are due this Friday from engineering consultants interested in designing the new Missouri River bridge at Washington.

Based on letters of interest received, Missouri Department of Transportation officials will narrow the number for interviews, then select a firm for the preliminary design work.

Construction of a new bridge to replace the more-than 75-year-old span is in MoDOT’s draft 2013-2017 State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) now under review.

If the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission approves the new STIP at its July 11 meeting in Washington, a contract for the design work will be awarded, said Judy Wagner, MoDOT area engineer.

Between five and 10 consulting firms could be called in for interviews, Wagner said during Tuesday’s meeting of the Washington Area Highway Transportation Committee.

The proposed new bridge, which Wagner said would be similar to the new crossing at Hermann, is projected to cost $61,747,000 which includes $3,356,000 for engineering and design work.

The draft STIP calls for work to begin on the new bridge in 2016-17.

However, state officials are hoping to receive a $20 million TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) grant.

If that grant is awarded, work would begin on the substructure by June 2013, because funds from the TIGER grant must be allocated by then. That work would be followed by construction of the superstructure in 2014, Wagner said.

The new bridge is slated to have two 12-foot-wide driving lanes, wide shoulders and a protected biking/walking path. In the future, if needed, the barrier separating the bike path and driving lanes could be removed to expand the bridge to four driving lanes.

If that happens, a walking/biking path would be added on the side of the bridge, Wagner noted.

Strong Support

MoDOT, meanwhile, has received more than 100 letters of support for the Highway 47 bridge project, Wagner said.

“We’ve never had so many positive comments from the public for a project,” Wagner commented.

She said again that a new bridge here is the No. 1 priority bridge project in the state.

“It’s the only major bridge project in the draft STIP,” she noted.