The Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) says that drivers on Highway 5 can expect to see delays when traveling in the area of Hurricane Deck beginning today.
MoDOT sent out a press release last week, telling travelers that crews working on replacing the aging bridge will begin placing a series of girders on the concrete piers to support the new span. The work is expected to take place between four to eight times per day for the next four months.
"Contractors will do their level best to keep the closings to a minimum during peak travel times," said MoDOT Resident Engineer John Sanders. "We appreciate the patience of motorists while we perform this work.
Up until now most of the work on the new bridge has taken place without affecting travelers crossing the old bridge.
A new bridge is being built just east of the existing structure and is expected to open in 2013.
The $32.3 million project will be the final step in replacing four of the original bridges that carried U.S. Highway 54 and Missouri 5 across the various arms of the lake. The original two-lane bridge that carried Highway 54 traffic across the Grand Glaize Arm in Osage Beach was replaced in 1995 and recently updated to carry three lanes of traffic to serve both the Osage Beach Parkway and the U.S. Highway 54 Expressway. The original two-lane bridges that carried traffic over the Niangua Arm of the Lake west of Camdenton and Highway 5 traffic over the Niangua Arm north of Camdenton were replaced in the early 2000s.
The 1,000-foot long, 77-year-old Hurricane Deck Bridge will be replaced with a new structure that will have two, 12-foot wide lanes and 7-foot wide shoulders. The new structure is being built just three feet east of the current span by the American Bridge Company. Except for brief closure periods, Missouri 5 will remain open to traffic throughout the yearlong construction period.
Once the new bridge is installed and opened to traffic, in late 2013, workers will begin to dismantle the old bridge. The entire project is scheduled for completion in the spring of 2014.
The decision to replace the old Hurricane Deck Bridge, built in 1936,was made after MoDOT determined that it would less costly to replace the entire structure instead of refurbishing the old structure then maintaining it to today's safety standards.
The old bridge is of the cantilevered deck truss design, the same design as that of the I-35 Bridge across the Mississippi River that collapsed near Minneapolis in August 2007 killing 13 people and injuring 145.
The old Hurricane Deck Bridge is 2,280.3 feet long and 28 feet wide. The average daily traffic count across the bridge is just under 8,000 vehicles per day.
Motorists using Highway 5 during the construction of the new span are encouraged to follow signage, drive safely through the construction zone and prepare for delays.
For more information about the project or other transportation related matters, call 1-888-ASK-MoDOT (275-6636) or log onto www.modot.org/central.
If you are interested in watching the work being done on the new Hurricane Deck Bridge, cameras have been mounted at either end of the span and time lapsed photography of the actual work is captured every 10-15 minutes and can be viewed on MoDOT's website, www.modot.org, under the heading Major Projects.