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  • Writer's pictureLucas Nava

Missouri River bridge replacement set to begin next year

Updated: Oct 8, 2021

The following was edited by Missourian editor Scott Swafford. Click on the link to reach the original article. Photo credit goes to the Columbia Missourian.

Construction on the new Interstate 70 bridge over the Missouri River near Rocheport should begin late next year, according to a news release from the Missouri Department of Transportation.

MoDOT released a timeline for the project on Monday. The news release said the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission will select a contractor for the design-build project in July. The bridge is scheduled to complete in 2024.

Design-build contracts are intended to save time and money by allowing a single contractor to do both aspects of the work. MoDOT will establish goals, a budget and the schedule for the project, and the contractor team performs the work.

The major goal for the Missouri River bridge is delivering a quality product while remaining under the $240 million budget. The contractor team also will be charged with reducing traffic impacts during construction and ensuring travelers’ safety.

“Local, state and federal agencies and lawmakers worked collaboratively to fund this project,” Machelle Watkins, MoDOT Central District Engineer, said in the news release. “It is one of our top priorities to use the money entrusted to us to build a quality product that will benefit travelers for decades to come.”

The current Rocheport bridge was built in 1960, and it’s not in good shape. Until the state secured funding for a new bridge, plans called for rehabilitating the existing span. That would have extended its life by as little as 10 years and could have caused three-to-eight-hour traffic backups on I-70.

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