HANNIBAL – The first bridge to be replaced under the FARM (Fixing Access to Rural Missouri) Bridge Program is Route B over Smokey Branch in Linn County, just west of Missouri Route 139 and north of Meadville. The road will close on Monday, Oct. 25 for construction and will remain closed until the end of February 2022.
“We have 31 weight-restricted, poor condition bridges in northern Missouri to replace under this federally-funded program,” stated Missouri Department of Transportation Project Director Jeff Gander. Lehman-Wilson was awarded the design-build contract by the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission at its meeting in May to replace the bridges. “The MoDOT team has worked closely with the contractor to develop plans for these improvements, and by October 2023, all 31 bridges will be replaced,” Gander noted.
“We understand closing a road can be challenging, yet it’s the best use of our tax dollars, it makes it safer for all the workers, and it speeds up construction,” Gander explained. There is no posted detour on most of these projects. The average annual traffic volume on Route B is 190, and the bridge was built in 1954. All bridges in the program are expected to be closed during construction.
The project will replace deﬁcient bridges on low-volume routes that are:
- In poor condition
- On timber pile
- One-lane but carry two-way traffic
The full list of bridges to be replaced can be found on the FARM Bridge program web page.
Design-build is a project delivery method in which one contracting team is selected to design and build the highway improvement under one contract. MoDOT provides the project goals, budget and schedule and the contractor team completes the work. This technique has been known to significantly save time and provide cost savings.
“Signs will be placed on these roads several days before each closure, and we encourage residents in these areas to sign up to receive our email and text alerts,” Gander said. MoDOT will continue to send information and updates to local media for their distribution. MoDOT’s online traveler map also shows locations of work zones and road closures.
MoDOT’s mission is to provide a world-class transportation system that is safe, innovative, reliable and dedicated to a prosperous Missouri. Please do your part to help us achieve a safe system by wearing your seat belt every time and putting your phone down while driving…for your safety and our workers. Take the pledge – Buckle Up, Phone Down.