MoDOT gives public a look at plans for replacing Hurricane Deck Bridge

$32.3 million bridge replacement project set to begin this spring and be opened in late 2013

Nicole Hood (far right) MoDOT transportation project director and Randy Potts, MoDOT transportation project designer explain the artist rendering of how the new Hurricane Deck Bridge will look to Camdenton Area Chamber of Commerce executive director Trisha Creach.

Nicole Hood (far right) MoDOT transportation project director and Randy Potts, MoDOT transportation project designer explain the artist rendering of how the new Hurricane Deck Bridge will look to Camdenton Area Chamber of Commerce executive director Trisha Creach. Photo by Ceil Abbott.

When crews begin construction of a new Missouri 5 Hurricane Deck Bridge, they will not include the sliding truss concept of replacing the old bridge as originally planned. Instead a brand new span will be built just a few feet east of the current structure.

According to information handed out by the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT), the $32,303,295 replacement project is set to begin this spring and be completed late next year.

On Monday, MoDOT personnel held two public hearings on the project at the Camdenton Area Chamber of Commerce building in Camdenton and the Sunrise Beach Fire Protection District headquarters in Sunrise Beach. As part of that meeting, MoDOT personnel displayed an artist’s rendering of how the new bridge will look and how it will be connected to the current highway.

According to information provided to The Lake Today, by MoDOT engineer Bob Lynch, earlier this year, plans on how the bridge replacement project would be handled changed in January when MoDOT hired a contractor for the project. Originally, MoDOT had considered having a new bridge built onto temporary pilings that would have been sunk into the Lake’s floor just east of the current bridge. Then when construction of the new span was completed the old bridge would have been town down and the new span slid onto the pilings that supported the old bridge. However, when MoDOT advertised for contractors to handle the project the winning bid included a plan for simply building an entirely new structure just three-feet east of the old span including sinking entirely new pilings into the Lake’s bottom.

Lynch said one of the deciding factors in accepting that bid from the American Bridge Company of Overland Park, Kan., was the fact that the contractor planned to replace the old structure without any undue interruption of Highway 5 traffic and still remain within the budget set by MoDOT.

To accomplish this plans call for the current bridge to remain open to traffic during the construction and once the project is completed to close Highway 5 to traffic only long enough to connect the new bridge to the roadway. Lynch said making that connection is only a “matter of 20 or 30 minutes work.”

However MoDOT does estimate that “some short temporary lane closures and interruptions of traffic” on Highway 5 may occur during the construction period.

According to MoDOT, once construction starts a 200-foot wide channel that will be marked by buoys marking a no wake zones around the construction area, will be kept open to boat traffic. However, there may be some short temporary closings of the channel to boat traffic when it is necessary for the safety protection of the boating public.

Earlier this year, crews began taking core samples of the Lake’s bottom and have been doing preliminary work in preparation to sinking the necessary pilings to support the new structure. The entire project, including demolition of the old structure, should be completed by the spring of 2014.

Built in 1934, the current Hurricane Deck Bridge is of the same “cantilevered deck truss” design as the Interstate 35 Bridge near Minneapolis, Minn., that collapsed during rush hour in 2007 killing 13 people and injuring 145.

Although the current Hurricane Deck Bridge was more than 75 years old, MoDOT did not plan to build a new bridge, but had announced, in 2006, that the structure would be “refurbished.” However, in Dec. 2010 the agency announced that while the old bridge was still safe for traffic it would be replaced.

At that time, Nicole Hood, MoDOT transportation project manager said, “As we considered the best use of transportation dollars, we determined that rehabilitation might only last 10 years and a replacement could have at least a 75 year lifespan. For the amount of money needed to rehab the bridge, we thought it would be best to find a way to replace it instead.”

The current Hurricane Deck Bridge was built by the Stupp Brothers Bridge and Iron Company of Wisconsin. It carries Missouri Highway 5 across the main channel of Lake of the Ozarks in northern Camden County, just south of the Sunrise Beach city limits. Although the bridge and surrounding locale is referred to as “Hurricane Deck,” in fact, the area has never been incorporated as a city.

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