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For more information, please contact Tana Akright, MoDOT Customer Relations Specialist at 573-248-2465

November 19, 2014 01:14 PM
Weight Restrictions Placed on Missouri Route 79 Bridges at Clarksville and Annada in Pike County

HANNIBAL - Two bridges on Missouri Route 79 in Pike County at Clarksville and Annada have been load posted with a restriction of a 10-ton weight limit. Beginning immediately, signs are posted "Weight Limit 10 Ton" at the bridge over Big Calumet Creek located just south of Route N near the north city limits of Clarksville, and the bridge over Guinns Creek south of Route H, the first bridge just south of Annada. The posted weight limit restricts any vehicles over 10 tons, or 20,000 pounds, from traveling across the bridges. In addition to the 10-ton limit, all overweight, over-dimension permit traffic is permanently restricted.

"The Guinns Creek Bridge has been load and speed posted for some time," said MoDOT District Engineer Paula Gough.  However, after routine inspections, MoDOT officials found structural deficiencies in both bridges. "These bridges are considered to be unsafe for the majority of commercial vehicles and agricultural traffic, and it is imperative for vehicles over 10 ton to use alternate routes and not cross these bridges," Gough stressed.  She noted these bridges will continue to accommodate vehicles less than 10 ton such as passenger vehicles.

"It is critical that no vehicles weighing more than 10 ton travel over these bridges.  Compliance with this restriction is necessary to keep all travelers safe." Gough said.

Lighted message signs advising all traffic of the load posting have been posted immediately.  Signs have also been placed on Route 79 at Route N north of Clarksville, Route W in Clarksville, Route H in Annada and Route B at Elsberry.  Commercial and agriculture traffic over 10 tons will have to take other local routes such as US Route 61 and 54.

Both of these bridges are 80 years old, the average Missouri bridge is 46 years old and most were designed for a 50-year life. "Our engineers are evaluating what, if anything can be done to repair these bridges to increase the weight restrictions, yet we are not optimistic repairing these bridges is an option," Gough explained.  "We know there are many bridges all over the state that have deteriorated beyond repair, yet there is a significant lack of funding for transportation infrastructure not only in our state, but across the country," Gough said.

Seven bridges have been closed on the Missouri state system in the last few months.  Big Calumet and Guinns Creek Bridges are among many unfunded transportation needs in Missouri and are not on the five-year transportation program.

"We are completing inspections through the end of the year and will continue to take whatever actions are necessary to keep motorists safe," she explained. "We will keep local officials, schools and area residents informed of what decisions are made about these two bridges," she said.

If you have questions about these bridges, please call MoDOT's toll-free customer service number at 1-888 ASK MODOT (275-6636).

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