HANNIBAL – By the end of summer, drivers on U.S. Route 61 in Lincoln County, just north of Troy, will be using new bridges over the Cuivre River. “The project is on schedule, despite a rough start with a utility delay and all the rain last year that impeded earth work,” said Missouri Department of Transportation Area Engineer Erik Maninga. “As long as weather cooperates, we plan to have motorists on the new roadway and bridges by the end of summer," he added. The project is scheduled to be fully completed December of 2020.
Concrete has been poured on the southbound Bridge deck with the northbound being prepped to hopefully pour half next week. “Currently, steel is being laid on the northbound deck and formwork is going in place,” Maninga explained. “This week we plan on pouring the back walls to the bridge ends which help support the approach slabs that transfer drivers from the regular roadway onto the bridge structure itself,” he added. The next steps include placing fill, or dirt, on the ends of the southbound bridge, then working on the approach pavements to the bridge.
According to MoDOT Inspector Joe Smith, the biggest challenge thus far on the project has been the weather. “With the location we are in, it is hard to get the ground dry to do a lot of the ditch work as well as fill,” he said. “Then with all the rain, snow, and flooding it has been hit or miss to get a full day in. These partial days slow the progress to getting bigger sections of the work completed and ready for the next phase,” he added.
Since Smith works out on the project, he has some advice for drivers to keep them safe, as well as all the workers on site. “Just be alert. We can put up all the signs and warnings in the world to tell you to slow down and pay attention and watch for trucks, but it comes down to you, the driver. Use common sense in a work zone, because it’s not a normal flow of traffic at times,” he said. “I see it every day; people slamming on their brakes or swerving out of the way of something; we can warn you, but it’s up to you to help everyone stay safe in a work zone,” he added.
The project began one year ago in April and awarded by the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission to KCI Construction Company for $14,595,000.
Spring is here and work zones are popping up. Before you travel, check out MoDOT’s online traveler information map at www.modot.org. Never drive impaired and make sure everyone in the car is buckled up. Please put your phone down to avoid distractions. For more information, call MoDOT at 888-ASK-MODOT (275-6636) or visit www.modot.org to receive the latest statewide news and text alerts, signup for e-updates.
Cutline for photo: Crews pour the concrete deck over rebar steel on the southbound Cuivre River Bridge earlier this week.