COLUMBIA, Mo. – You may have heard of swinging bridges, but what about sliding bridges?
The new Interstate 70 bridge at Garth Avenue is just the second bridge in Missouri to be slid into place from its nearby location. New bridges at Range Line Street and Business Loop will also be shifted into place this summer.
Prep work for the slide will start at 9 p.m. on Sunday, May 15 and will require one lane of I-70 in each direction to be closed until 5 a.m. Monday to allow westbound traffic to be switched to the eastbound bridge. The Garth bridge slide will start at about 7 a.m. on Monday, May 16. All work is weather permitting.
In addition, the westbound I-70 on-ramp at Providence will be closed from 9 p.m. Sunday to 5 a.m. Monday, and Garth Avenue at I-70 will be closed from 9 p.m. on Sunday to 9 p.m. on Monday.
One eastbound and one westbound lane of I-70, as well as the westbound I-70 on-ramp at Providence, will again be closed from 9 p.m. on Thursday to 5 a.m. on Friday to switch traffic back to the new westbound bridge.
Hydraulic jacks and about 15 bottles of dishwashing liquid will be used to move the 75-foot Garth bridge, which weighs 800,000 pounds or roughly the same as two jumbo jets. The dishwashing detergent is used as a lubricant to help slide the structure along stainless steel plates into its permanent place. It will take about 20 workers approximately 8 hours to move the bridge.
Anyone interested can watch the bridge slide on a camera posted on the project website - www.modot.org/ColumbiaBridges. Videos showing the first Missouri bridge slide – the Interstate 44 bridge over the Gasconade River in Laclede County – can also be found there. That bridge was built by the same contractor as the one building the I-70 bridges – Columbia-based Emery Sapp and Sons.
“Building the new bridges on temporary columns adjacent to the old structures and sliding them onto the new bridge columns drastically reduces construction time,” said Travis Koestner, assistant district engineer for the Missouri Department of Transportation’s Central District. “It also minimizes traffic impacts, which is especially important on busy I-70, and greatly increases safety.”
In other project activity, Creasy Springs Road reopens today to a right in, right out travel condition as motorists come off the westbound I-70 off-ramp. Motorists traveling eastbound or westbound on Business Loop will not have access to Creasy Springs, but Creasy Springs drivers will be able to access Business Loop at the new roundabout there.
Range Line Street at Interstate 70 remains closed until May 24 while the contractor builds a new interchange there.
For more information, including a complete look at traffic and pedestrian impacts associated with the project, visit www.modot.org/ColumbiaBridges.
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