Officials have issued a stern warning about trespassing on the new unfinished Highway 47 bridge over the Missouri River at Washington. The state said violators likely will face prosecution.

Construction still is in progress with the official opening set for Dec. 1.

The warning was issued because people, including bicyclists, have been on the new structure, even though it is roped off and there are warning signs. At this stage of construction no safety measures have been installed and it’s hazardous to be on the new structure except for the workers, who are familiar with the working space.

Tim Hellebusch, resident engineer for the project for the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT), said it’s safe for workers but not for the general public. The main problem is trespassers after working hours.

The new bridge is tempting to onlookers and others who want to be among the first to cross the new bridge.  MoDOT doesn’t want anybody hurt and it’s in the public’s interest to stay off the bridge.