Monday, June 1, 2009

Safe & Sound Web map can help you get around closed bridges

Today, five more bridges have been closed around the state to allow them to be swiftly re-decked. Two more will close tomorrow. This means 36 bridges on the Safe & Sound program are under construction. Twenty-five have already been completed!

We understand that road closures are an inconvenience. But doing so allows the construction team to work as quickly as possible. It also controls cost by virtually eliminating the need to buy new right of way and to build lots of costly new sections of roadway.

Since last fall, MoDOT has been holding community briefings to prepare residents for the projects that are coming to their areas, and to learn of local constraints that may impact construction schedules. So far, so good. A recent survey of people who attended some of those events found that 90 percent of them felt the decision-making process was open, transparent and fair; 97.7 percent said MoDOT had explained the projects in a manner that was completely understandable; and 86 percent said they were satisfied with how their concerns were addressed.

One tool MoDOT has been using to help people cope with bridge closures is an interactive map on the MoDOT Web site. The map locates each of the 802 Safe & Sound bridges with icons of different colors that indicate where the bridge stands within the schedule -- a future commitment, construction within 12 months, construction within 3 months, under construction, and construction completed. Clicking on each icon gives you a picture of the bridge, facts about the bridge and the construction plans, and in most cases a suggested detour map to get around the construction site. The data is updated every day.

It might help your travels this summer.