One hundred and counting! That’s the number of bridges the Missouri Department of Transportation has now fixed as a part of its commitment under the Safe & Sound Bridge Improvement Program – an initiative to fix 802 of the state’s worst bridges in five years.
This morning Gov. Jay Nixon joined MoDOT Director Pete Rahn, members of the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission and local officials to celebrate the completion of a redeck project on the Route E bridge in Platte County over the Platte River. It was the 100th bridge completed since April when it reopened on October 24.
MoDOT and its contractor partners are working so fast on these projects that already seven more have been completed! There are another 13 under construction that will be completed before the end of the year. Since the first bridge was completed on April 23, 107 bridges have been improved in 194 days.
But if you think opening a bridge about every two days is impressive, wait until next year! In 2010, close to 250 bridges will be constructed. And almost 200 of those will be completely new bridges, built under the Design-Build portion of the Safe & Sound program by KTU Constructors.
Construction schedules are being completed, and MoDOT will be conducting community briefings through the winter months to provide construction and detour information while these bridges are closed.
The contract with KTU Constructors requires that the average closure be no more than 45 days. That's twice as fast as the normal 90 days it takes to build a new bridge.