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July 30, 2010 12:00 AM
New Osage River Bridge Nearing Completion
Route 17 to Close at Osage River for Construction of New Bridge Connections

MILLER COUNTY - Since February 2009, motorists traveling across the old, narrow Osage River Bridge on Route 17 near Tuscumbia, have watched as crews constructed a brand new path across the river just 20 feet upstream of the existing structure. 

On Thursday, Aug. 12, the existing depression-era bridge will permanently close to traffic.  Starting at 8 a.m., crews will begin constructing connections to the new Osage River Bridge approaches. This work will take four days to complete and Route 17 at the Osage River will remain closed during that time. Motorists will be detoured around the area on Route 17, Route C, Route 42, U.S. 54 and Route 52.

"This closure is necessary to make the tie-ins because the roadway elevations to the new bridge differ significantly from the old bridge," said MoDOT Construction and Materials Engineer Patty Lemongelli. "We appreciate the patience and support we've received from the local community and motorists throughout the duration of this project. We look forward to opening the new bridge."

On Monday, Aug. 16, a brand new bridge spanning the Osage River will open to traffic following a 10 a.m. ribbon cutting. A community celebration will follow. 

The new bridge is eight feet wider than the existing structure and includes shoulders to increase safety. Nearly one-half mile of new roadway was constructed to increase sight distance on the south side of the bridge. 

APAC - Kansas, Inc. was awarded the $8.5 million contract to construct the new Osage River Bridge and to eventually demolish the existing structure. This was the first project in the nation to get underway as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

More information about this project can be found on the web at http://www.modot.org/ or by calling toll free 1-888-ASK-MoDOT (275-6636).

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