Thursday, July 1, 2010


The cracks, pops and booms that explode each Fourth of July are much like the fireworks that take place when bridges go down with a bang after new, safer structures have been erected.

Missouri has 10,335 bridges on the state system and the most major river bridges in the nation with 53. The average cost to build a major bridge runs from $30 million to $80 million, with some structures costing as much as $300 million. With bridges playing a major role in the state’s transportation system, Missouri has seen a fair share of bridge demolitions.

In the spirit of Independence Day, MoDOT has pulled together a compilation of bridge demolitions. Let the fireworks begin!

Many the Miles

MoDOT employee Kris Sandgren is now on day 10 of his 2,600-mile bicycle ride to raise money for a fallen workers' memorial in Missouri.

Today, Kris Sandgren is pedaling across the Continental Divide on U.S. Route 2 at the south edge of Glacier National Park. This is rugged country in northwestern Montana. His legs are feeling much better after experiencing soreness over the weekend. "I'm in the groove now," he said late Wednesday afternoon. He spoke while sitting outside the Super 1 Foods grocery store in Columbia Falls. He had just replenished his food supply, buying an apple, bananas, granola bars and orange juice.

On Tuesday, June 29, Kris spent the night near Fortine, MT, in an air-conditioned RV. He had asked a couple if he could pitch his tent on their property. They said absolutely not. They told him he could stay in their fifth-wheel travel trailer, having been prepared for out-of-town guests arriving later in the week. "They wouldn't take any money from me," Kris said. A good night's sleep and a hot shower boosted Kris' spirits and energy level. The night before, Kris had been stuck for three hours inside a campground restroom -- wide awake -- where had taken refuge during a severe thunderstorm.

Yesterday, Kris made the ski resort town of Whitefish, MT, where a friendly photographer at the Whitefish Pilot newspaper took Kris' photo on downtown's Central Avenue. Matt also told Kris of a shortcut out of town, saving him a few miles on his way toward West Glacier, MT.

Kris plans to travel about 65 miles into East Glacier Park by the end of today.