Monday, July 12, 2010

MoDOT Demolishes, then Recycles, Route 40 Bridge

Everyone knows you can recycle that old cereal box, your soda can from dinner and even a glass bottle, but what about a bridge? Yeah, you can recycle that! On July 10, the MoDOT-Kansas City district demolished the Route 40 bridge over Interstate 435, began the process to recycle 100 percent of the debris.

Built in 1966, the bridge is constructed of materials that are readily recycled today. After demolition, crews will retrieve:

• 2578 tons concrete, which will be used for base rock material or as rock ditch liner,

• 210 tons reinforcing steel, will be collected and delivered to a recycler,

• 579 feet of aluminum handrail, will also be collected and delivered to a recycler.

“Recycling our materials is a priority in this job,” Said MoDOT Construction and Materials Engineer Perry Allen. “One hundred percent of this bridge is recyclable and we plan to salvage all 100 percent.”

Large-scale recycling is not a new concept for the department. MoDOT leads the nation in the number of recycled roof shingles added to asphalt mixtures.

• 325,000 tons of concrete and asphalt were recycled and reused during the reconstruction of a 10-mile stretch of Interstate 64 in St. Louis.

• When the Route 19 Missouri River Bridge near Hermann was taken down, about 2,000 tons of steel from the structure was recycled.

• MoDOT has used enough recycled tires in its construction projects over the past two years to equip 20,000 cars.

• About 70 percent of state highway signs are produced from reclaimed material.

• Using the latest technology, MoDOT can actually recycle entire asphalt roads.

Bridge demolition is part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act-funded project to add a third lane to I-70 in each direction and improve the interchange at I-435. It also will include removing and replacing the Blue Ridge Cutoff (George Brett) Bridge over I-70 next year.

More than 50 local citizens and media stayed up into the wee hours on Sunday to watch the explosion, and treated the crew to a rousing round of applause.