With the arrival of spring comes the beginning of the MoDOT construction season, and for the Safe & Sound Bridge Improvement Program, every week of good weather is spawning more and more bridge projects.
Last year, 121 bridges across the state were improved. Three more have already reopened in 2010. There will be more than 200 projects this year as MoDOT's design-build contractor -- KTU Constructors -- makes its first big foray into the field. KTU plans to build 150 new bridges this year, while MoDOT manages another 50 rehabilitation projects. By the end of 2013, 802 of Missouri's poorest bridges will have been repaired or replaced.
MoDOT's contract with KTU requires that they average 45-day closures for the 554 bridge replacements they are delivering. That's twice as fast as the normal pace for a bridge project! KTU built four new bridges in the fall to test their design and construction strategies that will bring speed to the program.
Over the winter, KTU was busy establishing regional offices in Lee's Summit, Bethany, Chillicothe, Sedalia and Benton -- nearby the areas where much of this year's work will take place. They completed bridge designs and put packages of bridges out for bid with Missouri sub-contractors who will perform much of the work. They also have suppliers busy fabricating pre-cast beams that will be used in this year's projects.
To help motorists stay abreast of the construction schedule and to navigate around these projects, MoDOT has created an interactive Web map that includes suggested detour routes, project details and schedule information -- http://safeandsoundmap.modot.mo.gov/sas.htm.
The color-coded map shows bridges that are under construction, those that have been completed, those that are to begin with three months, those that are to start in the next year, and those that are scheduled for construction in 2011-12-13.