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MoDOT Engineer Erik Maninga shares the plans for the Lost Creek Bridge closing, set for later this year in eastern Lincoln County.
Many commuters felt the wrath of dust as they attempted to travel south down Hwy. 79 in 2012, during the Sandy Creek Bridge closing spanning 45 days.
According to Maninga, this time around should be much similar and significantly faster, as they begin talks of a late summer closing to rebuild the Lost Creek Bridge, just south of Elsberry.
“It is an old bridge that has well served its purpose over the last 80-years,” said Maninga. “But having said that, it is an 80-year-old bridge and safety has become a concern.”
According to old reports, the bridge is starting to show its age as the guidelines and safety regulations have changed since its original construction. A few of the things he said MoDOT plans to change is removing the old bridge all together and replacing it with a remanufactured one span bridge, with 12-foot lanes, five-foot shoulders and no truss going over it. In all actuality, it will closely resemble the new Sandy Creek Bridge near Foley.
The other plans MoDOT has pieced together include a 25-day closing, rather than a 45-day closing, which according to Maninga, should be more than enough time. With a $10,000 a day incentive plan, up to $50,000 if completed early and a $10,000 a day in liquidation damage if done late, the construction of the new bridge should move relatively smoothly.
“The challenge we faced in Foley was the fact it was a three span bridge, to where the new one we are planning on building in Elsberry is a one span bridge,” said Maninga. “The contractor has the option of when to start but will only have 25-days from the start date to finish, with the absolute end date being Oct. 1.”
One of the big concerns about this closing has to do with detour routes for emergency responsive teams. Right now their options are a minimum of 16-miles around, just to get back to the other side of the bridge. According to Maninga, during the Sandy Creek closing, emergency teams seemed to do a good job sharing responsibility between Foley and Elsberry. He said he believes it will probably be a similar situation during the much shorter closing of Lost Creek.
No date has been discussed or talked about for any kind of open forum, as of yet. However, in addition to the Lost Creek Bridge closing, Maninga said MoDOT would also begin resurfacing Hwy. 79 from the Pike County line south, approximately 17-miles, later this year.
“We haven’t set a scheduled date for this project just yet but I’m thinking it could be somewhere between late spring and early fall,” said Maninga.
Following the next two projects, Maninga said he doesn’t foresee any other major projects any time soon.
“We appreciate everyone’s support and patience as these upgrades are done and hope they appreciate the new look and quality of the work done,” Maninga said. “As always if anyone has any questions or would like to voice their concerns they can contact me at 573-528-3164, email me at erik. m a n i n g a @ m o d o t . m o. g o v, call 1-888-ASK MODOT or visit http://modot.org.”