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

August 26, 2016 11:16 AM
Ceremony Marks Completion of Columbia I-70 Bridges Project

How do you keep 80,000 vehicles a day moving on a cross-state interstate while replacing several aging and deteriorating bridges and improving two major interchanges?

That’s the challenge the Missouri Department of Transportation, Emery Sapp and Sons and Parsons Transportation Group faced with the Columbia I-70 Bridges design-build project. A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held today to celebrate the completion of the $18 million project, which began last August and was completed this month, about two months ahead of schedule.

The project included replacing bridges on Interstate 70 at Garth Avenue, Range Line Street and Business Loop 70/West Boulevard in Columbia, Missouri. Improving the interchanges at Range Line Street and Business Loop were also part of the project.

“We had a number of goals for this project, but the two biggest were to minimize traffic impacts on I-70 and meet the aggressive timeline of finishing the project in 15 months,” said Travis Koestner, assistant district engineer for MoDOT’s Central District.

Because of the project’s complexity, as well as a tight budget, MoDOT officials decided to use a design-build approach to tackle the work. Design-build is a project delivery method that combines both the design and construction phases into one contract to save time and resources.

Competing teams were given the project budget and asked to provide the amount of improvements they could make within the set amount of money. The process was designed to foster innovative and cost-effective ideas for delivering the project, which was critical given the state's long-term, insufficient funding for transportation.

Contractor Emery Sapp and Sons of Columbia and design partner Parsons Transportation Group of St. Louis were selected to design and deliver the project on June 3, 2015. The team was one of four vying for the work.

“We believe Missouri taxpayers received great value on this project,” Koestner said. “Using design-build allowed us to get more work for the amount of money we had to spend.”

Sliding bridges, dual-lane roundabouts and a dog-bone interchange were just some of the components of this fast-paced, innovative project. Sapp's proposal called for several of the new bridges to be built next to the existing structures and then slid into place to minimize closures on I-70 and affected city streets.

“Emery Sapp and Sons and Parsons did an outstanding job on this project,” Koestner said. “As a result, we were able to accomplish an incredible amount of work in a short amount of time with the least traffic disruptions possible.”

Koestner also credited the Columbia community for their support and patience throughout the project.

For Chip Jones, project manager with Emery Sapp and Sons, the real success of the project was that everyone remained safe on the job.

“We accomplished a lot, but at the end of the day, what we’re most proud of is the fact that everyone went home safely,” Jones said.

For more information, visit www.modot.org/ColumbiaBridges.




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