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For more information, contact Sally Oxenhandler at 573-522-3375 or 573-645-7885 or MoDOT Communications at 573-751-3322.

March 29, 2017 03:14 PM
Work on Eastbound I-70 Bridge at Rocheport to Switch to Left Lane

JEFFERSON CITY – Work to fix an expansion joint in the right lane of the eastbound Interstate 70 bridge over the Missouri River near Rocheport is complete, and work will now switch to the left lane to repair the expansion joint there.

Expansion joints are what allow the bridge to expand and contract.

Missouri Department of Transportation officials had originally planned to reopen the bridge by Thursday. However, as a safety precaution, they decided to replace the expansion joint in the left lane of the eastbound bridge as well. That work will close the left lane of the bridge around the clock until approximately Saturday afternoon.

In addition, it’s possible crews will have to close both lanes of the bridge for a brief period overnight to complete the repairs. Message boards will notify motorists of the closure and signs will mark the detour route.

The speed limit on the bridge will remain lowered to 45 mph while the work takes place.

“We want to do everything we can to ensure we don’t encounter another emergency situation like the one we had earlier this week,” said MoDOT Central District Engineer David Silvester. “We know closing a lane on this bridge is an inconvenience for thousands of travelers, and we apologize for their delays.”

The Rocheport bridge is an example of issues that arise with an aging infrastructure and limited funding for transportation, Silvester said. The bridge, which was built in 1960 and carries an average of 17,000 vehicles a day, 24 percent of which is truck traffic, last received repairs in 1993. It is scheduled to be painted and rehabilitated in either late 2018 or early 2019. Replacing expansion joints is part of the future repair package.

MoDOT is relying on the expertise of bridge maintenance workers from throughout the state to help in the repairs.

“We’ve called in additional resources so we can work around the clock and complete the repairs as quickly as possible,” Silvester said.

 

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