JEFFERSON CITY - One hundred and counting! That's the number of bridges the Missouri Department of Transportation has now fixed as a part of its commitment under the Safe & Sound Bridge Improvement Program - an initiative to fix 802 of the state's worst bridges in five years.
This morning, Gov. Jay Nixon joined MoDOT Director Pete Rahn, Missouri Highways and Transportation Commissioners David Gach and Stephen Miller, and other state and county officials to cut a ceremonial ribbon, acknowledging the completion of the 100th Safe & Sound bridge. The ceremony was held at the bridge spanning the Platte River on Route E in Platte County, between the cities of Camden Point and Ridgley.
"Today we celebrate a milestone, having completed more than 100 bridges through the Safe and Sound program," said Gov. Jay Nixon. "This program is about investing in Missouri's infrastructure for the future by repairing and replacing bridges as quickly and cost-effectively as possible. MoDOT and the state's partner contractors have demonstrated that we can meet these critical goals."
The 283-foot, two-lane bridge over the Platte River on Route E was built in 1966. Under the Safe & Sound program, R.A. Knapp and Sons, Inc. of Kansas City, Mo., replaced the bridge deck in just 41 days.
"We've come a long way in a very short time," said MoDOT Director Pete Rahn. "Last September, the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission provided the vision for the Safe and Sound program. In that year's time, we have delivered on our commitment by completing a bridge every 1.8 days."
Of the 248 rehabilitation projects being delivered through MoDOT's normal bidding process, 107 bridges are now complete and another nine will be finished by the end of the year. Work on the remaining 132 bridges will be spread out over the next four years.
Additionally, KTU Constructors, the contractor for the Design-Build phase of Safe & Sound, has begun construction on four of its 554 total replacement projects. Work on this phase will ramp up soon with nearly 200 new bridges scheduled for construction around the state next year. Most bridges will be closed to speed construction and reduce cost.
There are 10,249 bridges on Missouri's state highway system, the seventh largest total in the nation. Approximately 1,200 of them are in poor or serious condition. The Safe & Sound initiative will address many of these bridges. All 802 bridges will be complete by Oct. 31, 2013 at a cost of approximately $700 million.
Missourians can track MoDOT's progress through an interactive map at www.modot.org/safeandsound.
# # #
Editor's Note: Downloadable video and photos will be available shortly after the event at ftp://ftp.modot.org/CRmedia/Safe%20%26%20Sound/100th%20Bridge%20Completion/