JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri Department of Transportation's Safe & Sound Bridge Improvement Program has entered the home stretch on its way to replacing or repairing more than 800 of the state's worst bridges. Last night, the 600th new bridge opened on Route H in DeKalb County. With 58 bridges still under construction, and about 20 more projects yet to start in 2011, by the end of the year just more than 120 bridges will remain to be built in 2012.
So far this year, 226 new bridges have been constructed by MoDOT's design-build contractor, KTU Constructors, and 41 other bridges have been rehabilitated. KTU has reopened 226 new bridges in the last 216 days.
"We continue to demonstrate construction speed and schedule flexibility in the delivery of this important project," Project Director Ken Warbritton said. "This year has been challenging, with flood conditions in some parts of the state affecting construction. But, weather permitting, we still expect to complete 345 bridges this year making this the busiest bridge construction year in Missouri history."
The $685 million program is 75 percent complete and on track to finish more than a year ahead of schedule.
To speed construction and control costs by limiting the improvements to just the bridge itself, most Safe & Sound bridges are closed during construction. To date, the average closure across the state has been about 40 days, or half the time a typical bridge replacement requires.