JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Interstate 70 is scheduled to close the morning of Sept. 10 for the blast to remove the truss of the old Missouri River bridge at Rocheport, weather permitting. For the safety of motorists and the demolition team, the interstate and a perimeter around the blast, including a portion of the Katy Trail, must be closed and secure during and immediately after the blast, which is tentatively scheduled for 7:30 a.m.
Traffic on I-70, in both directions, will be stopped just prior to the blast. Once the area is secured, the demolition team will use a controlled explosion to drop the old truss into the river. Crews will then sweep and inspect the new westbound bridge to ensure all debris is clear before the interstate is reopened to traffic. It is expected this process could take up to one hour. Motorists are strongly advised to avoid I-70 the morning of Sept. 10, from 7 to 9 a.m.
In case of inclement weather, the blast could be delayed that morning, or rescheduled to the morning of Sept. 12.
Viewing locations for the blast are extremely limited, with the majority on private property. To allow the public the best view of this exciting milestone in the building of the new Lance Corporal Leon Deraps I-70 Missouri River (Rocheport) Bridge, the Missouri Department of Transportation plans to livestream the event at modot.org/Rocheport.
The blast only lasts a moment, but it will drop approximately 1,100 feet of truss, including 6 million pounds of steel into the Missouri River. The demo team must remove the pieces of the truss from the river within 24 hours of the blast in order to reopen the river channel to boat and barge traffic.
Construction on the new eastbound bridge will begin almost immediately after the blast. A $220 million project to build the new bridges began in early 2022 and is on time to be completed with both bridges open to traffic in December 2024.
For more information on the project, visit www.modot.org/RocheportBridge.