Officials are anticipating a May opening of the shared use path on the new Highway 47 bridge, following the demolition of the old bridge. Missouri Department of Transportation Area Engineer Judy …
Officials are anticipating a May opening of the shared use path on the new Highway 47 bridge, following the demolition of the old bridge.
Missouri Department of Transportation Area Engineer Judy Wagner said that’s when equipment will be cleared from the north side of the bridge.
“We have to construct the north connection under the new and old bridge,” she said. “We can’t open it until that is done.”
Wagner explained the pedestrian/bicycle path loops under the bridge on the north side where construction equipment is stored.
She added that tentative plans call for the demolition of the old bridge in February, and the exact date could be confirmed soon.
The contractor, Alberici Constructors, must obtain a demolition permit from the Army Corps of Engineers.
According to Wagner, initial plans called for two blasts to take down the structure, but now the contractor is seeking to use one blast to implode the bridge.
She said if that is permitted, both shipping channels in the river will be closed to barge traffic.
Crews are now relocating all utilities from the old bridge to the new bridge.
“We can’t do much demolition work until we switch over and make sure all of the utilities are operating,” Wagner noted.
Once the utility relocation is completed, conduit will be removed from the old bridge, followed by the bridge deck.
“And then they will implode everything,” Wagner said. “It looks like it will all be in one blast.”
Following the implosion bridge pieces will be removed from the river.
“We’re assuming nothing is in the river now,” Wagner added. “Anything that goes in comes out.”
There will be a dive inspector to ensure that all of the bridge pieces are removed.
“It will be murky and if some things are buried they will be able to see if (the river bottom) is disturbed.”
Once that work is complete a river dike taken out during construction of the new bridge must be replaced.
“There is still quite a bit of river work to do,” Wagner stated.
She added crews will work quickly to get one of the river channels open.
There had been plans to close one lane of traffic on the north side of the bridge to remove a barrier wall and then pour a concrete lane. That work had been planned for Friday, Dec. 28, but was put on hold due to wet weather.
“When we pull the barrier wall, we don’t want to have a drop-off,” Wagner said. “So we are waiting on good temperatures to pour the concrete.”
Both lanes of the new Highway 47 bridge were opened Dec. 3.
The new bridge, which is expected to last between 75 and 100 years, features two 12-foot driving lanes with 10-foot shoulders, as well as a bicycle/pedestrian trail, a scenic overlook, decorative fencing, benches and lights to illuminate the piers.
The cost of the new bridge was $63 million, with 80 percent provided by the federal government, 20 percent by the state and $800,000 from the city of Washington and Franklin and Warren counties for the enhancements.HIGHWAY 47 BRIDGE