COLUMBIA – In the wake of Monday’s traffic crash that resulted in damage to the Sorrels Road bridge over Interstate 70 west of Columbia, the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) has made the decision to accelerate an already planned project to rehabilitate the bridge.
The overpass, located at mile marker 122 on the west side of Columbia, was heavily damaged by a passing truck Monday afternoon. The damages resulted in closing the bridge, closing one lane of westbound Interstate 70, and lowering the height clearance of the bridge.
“After careful inspection of the overpass, our bridge crews have decided that it is not safe for the traveling public to use the bridge,” said Assistant Central District Engineer Randy Aulbur. “Our first priority at this time is to restore the safe usage of both lanes of westbound Interstate 70.”
A plan had previously been in place to rehabilitate the 63-year-old bridge. Construction was set to begin in 2022 but will now be placed on a fast track for completion.
“The bridge deck and girders will be removed as part of the rehabilitation process, as was already planned,” Aulbur said. “In light of these circumstances, we are moving forward with this project earlier than planned, however it will still take some time for all those details to be finalized. We appreciate the patience of those who use the bridge on a regular basis.”
While the bridge is closed until the rehabilitation can take place, MoDOT crews are in the process of securing the underside of the overpass, to protect westbound I-70 motorists from the possibility of falling debris. This process will also restore clearance for larger vehicles to fifteen feet. Once that is complete, all westbound lanes will be opened.
MoDOT says there will be closures along I-70 in the coming days as work on the bridge continues. Updates will be available through the MoDOT Traveler Information Map, signs on the roadway, news releases and social media. Motorists are encouraged to use alternate routes when possible, add extra time to their commute, and expect some delays until both lanes of westbound I-70 are open.
For more information and updates about this project or other transportation-related matters, please call 1-888-ASK-MoDOT (275-6636) or visit www.modot.org/central. Follow the MoDOT Central Missouri District on Facebook and Twitter for project updates.