Fourteen new bridges opened to traffic last week, pushing the number of completed Safe & Sound Bridge Improvement Program projects past the halfway point.
There are now 410 new or rehabilitated bridges that have been constructed all over the state, and on average, another is opening every two days. When completed, the Safe & Sound program will have repaired or replaced 802 of the state's lowest rated bridges. Just this year alone, 80 new bridges have been built.
The program's original goal was to complete 802 projects in five years, or by the end of 2013. At the current rapid pace, the program should be complete a full year early, or by the close of 2012.
So far, 231 new bridges have been constructed under MoDOT's design-build contract with KTU Constructors, and 179 bridges have been rehabilitated through the department's regular monthly lettings.
The average road closure associated with the Safe & Sound projects has been 40 days, or about half the time it normally takes to replace a bridge.
Currently 77 bridges are under construction, with another 12 scheduled to start next week.