Counties Impacted
Project Status
Route Impacted
Missouri Route J

Project Milestones

Design Phase

MoDOT designed  a new structure to replace the current bridge over the Tarkio River on Route J in Atchison County near Fairfax.

Contractors bid on the project

The project was part of MoDOT's February 2019 letting, when contractors could submit competitive bids for the project. 

Contract awarded

The Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission awarded the contract to Phillips Hardy, Inc. at their March 2019 meeting. The contract amount is: $1,445,771.80.

Contractor has authority to begin work

The notice to proceed date for the contractor is April 8, 2019.

Road Closure

Phillips Hardy, Inc. closed Route J to all traffic on April 15, 2019.

Road Reopens

By contract, Phillips Hardy, Inc. has 125 calendar days (from the start of their work) to complete the bridge replacement. The contractor plans to reopen the roadway at the end of August, weather permitting.

Due to flooding delays, which caused a stoppage in work for one month, the contractor was not able to open the bridge as originally planned.

The bridge was reopened to all traffic on Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2019.

Completion Date

By contract, all work must be complete on or before December 1, 2019.

The bridge reopened to all traffic on Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2019.

The bridge deck of the Tarkio River Bridge on Route J in Atchison County

Old Bridge

  • Structurally deficient
  • Built in 1952
  • 22-feet wide and 281-feet long
Plans for the new bridge over the Tarkio River on Atchison County Route J

New Bridge

  • Meets current standards
  • Built on the same alignment as the old bridge
  • 24-feet wide with 16-inch safety barrier curbs on each side

Frequently Asked Questions


Q. Why is MoDOT closing the road during construction?

A. Closing the road at the bridges saves taxpayer money by allowing the contractor to work more efficiently. This will result in a shorter construction period.


Q. How long will the road be closed?

A. The contractor has 125 calendar days from the time of the closure to complete the job. At this time, they plan to close the road April 15 and reopen it at the end of August.


Q. What is the detour?

A. A signed detour is not planned at this time.


Q. Why not build a bypass?

A. Based on the cost/benefit ratio, building a bypass would not be a prudent use of taxpayer funds. A bypass also could have negative impacts and disruption to private property.


Q. Who can I contact if I have further questions?

A. Questions about the project may be directed to Customer Service at:

Q. How can I stay updated on the project's progress?

A. Sign up for project-specific updates using the form below

Project News

  • Tarkio River Bridge on Route J near Fairfax now open


    FAIRFAX, Mo. – The wait is finally over for the approximately 300 motorists whose daily trips west of Fairfax have involved a detour since April 2019. Last night at approximately 7 p.m. contractors from Phillips Hardy, Inc., working with the Missouri...

  • UPDATE: Tarkio River Bridge on Route J near Fairfax


    FAIRFAX, Mo. – Flooding has impacted nearly every aspect of life in Northwest Missouri since mid-March including construction projects. The Tarkio River Bridge on Route J, just west of Fairfax, is no exception. Contractors from Phillips Hardy, Inc...