Lincoln County Journal

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Sandy Creek bridge opens earlier than imposed deadline

Posted on Monday, October 1, 2012 at 9:06 am

Many may have noticed the commute south of Elsberry is a little smoother and a lot less dusty. Well that is because construction on Sandy Creek Bridge, just north of Foley has been completed in remarkable time.

The bridge, which was supposed to be closed for approximately 45 days, was done in just 40 by Bleigh Construction of Hannibal. The new bridge is 32-feet wide with 12-foot lanes and four foot shoulders, making it significantly larger than the old Sandy Creek Bridge. According to MoDOT Area Engineer for Lincoln, Montgomery and Warren Counties Erik Maninga, they are extremely pleased with Bleigh’s progress in getting the work done sooner than scheduled.

In fact, MoDOT even put in the contract that they would pay an additional $15,000 per day of early completion, which entitles Bleigh to a $75,000 bonus. The cost to replace the bridge was $2,329,489.02.

“MoDOT understands that closing a road down for any amount of time has consequences for everyone that drives the roads,” said Maninga. “It takes more time and money to get around. MoDOT appreciates the public’s patience. In the past a bridge replacement could take four to six months to be completed; however, closing the bridge allows the contractor to get in and out sooner and in this case the bridge was replaced with a new bridge in 40 days.”

Next on the schedule for MoDOT will be the Lost Creek Bridge or Elsberry Bridge. According to Maninga, they plan on replacing it sometime next year. However, unlike Sandy Creek, the closing time is aimed at 30 days rather than 45. Maninga said at this time there is no need to, nor is it in the books to replace the Winfield Bridge anytime soon.

“I feel that we have been fortunate to see a number of new projects in the Lincoln, Warren, and Montgomery county area,” said Maninga. “With these new projects it will enable us to have a safer and more reliable transportation system for all the folks that live in the area for a long time to come, and again MoDOT appreciates the publics patience and a 40 day closure will provide over 50 years of safe travel.

In discussing other road issues, Maninga said shoulders to Hwy. 47 between Warrenton and Washington is likely in 2014. Currently there is engineering and surveying being done between Troy and Hawk Point, a step in order to add shoulders to 47 between those two cities. However, due to the Amendment 3 funds drying up, MoDOT statewide has begun more into a ‘maintenance mode’ rather than a building mode. “We want to be ahead of the game in order to get as much funds and work possible to keep us in position to get funding,” he said.

Maninga said people will continue to see the interchange project at South Lincoln Drive being developed.