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??For more information, contact Sally Oxenhandler at (573) 522-3375 or MoDOT Communications at (573) 751-3322.

February 25, 2016 03:25 PM
Missouri River Bridge Painting Preparations Start Wednesday

JEFFERSON CITY – Motorists crossing the westbound Route 54/63Missouri River bridge in Jefferson City will soon begin seeing signs of work as contracting crews get ready to paint and repair the bridge. 

Weather permitting, workers on Wednesday (March 2) will begin building an enclosure to facilitate painting of the overhead truss portion of the bridge. This preliminary work will require some lane closures on the bridge every day.  The closures will occur at off-peak travel times, and at least one lane of traffic will be open at all times. All lanes will be open during the morning and evening rush hours. 

“The more advance work the contractor can complete, the quicker the painting project will progress,” said Patty Lemongelli, construction and materials engineer for the Missouri Department of Transportation’s Central District.

The bridge is tentatively set to close for 120 days in early to mid-April. The eastbound bridge will remain open and will be striped to carry two lanes of eastbound and two lanes of westbound traffic.

During the 120-day closure, MoDOT officials are encouraging drivers who use the bridge frequently to consider altering their travel times to avoid morning and evening rush periods.  MoDOT also suggests drivers change their work hours or arrange to work from home if that is an option.

Barring any accidents or stalled vehicles, traffic should move across the eastbound bridge at a steady pace, Lemongelli said. Still, traffic speeds will be slower than usual so motorists are asked to be patient and allow extra time for their commutes, especially during peak travel times. 

MoDOT has been working with law enforcement on an incident management plan to ensure smooth traffic flow on both state routes and city streets during the closure.

 “This work, though inconvenient, will allow us to properly maintain one of our most valuable assets and investments,” Lemongelli said.  “If not properly maintained, this bridge would cost $100 million to replace.”

The westbound bridge, built in 1955, carries about 28,000 vehicles a day.

Saffo Contractors, Inc. of Wilmington, N. C., is the contractor on the $7 million project.

More information on the project, including the option to sign up for e-mail updates, is available at www.modot.org/central  or by calling 1-888-ASK-MoDOT (275-6636). 




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