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The sun decided to stay out Friday morning in Henrietta to congratulate MoDOT on a job well-done – and done ahead of schedule.
Missouri Rep. Bob Nance, R-Excelsior Springs, joined MoDOT area engineers Mary Miller and Damian Geyer and spokesperson Kerri Lewis at 10 a.m. to cut the ribbon and commemorate the Route H bridge over Willow Creek’s ahead-of-schedule completion. That the bridge was the first of 800 in MoDOT’s statewide Safe & Sound bridge repair program made the occasion sweeter still, Nance said.
Geyer praised contractors R.A. Knapp and Sons for finishing the job ahead of schedule despite recent heavy rainfall.
“This 800-bridge construction started a couple of years ago and it’s finally coming to fruition,” Nance said. “It’s great to have one done, and so quickly.”
The bridge’s deck replacement began May 18 and Nance, Geyer and Lewis all credited its complete closure with speeding up the process. Bridge closures like those to the Route H bridge keeps contractors working quickly, gets the bridges back open faster and as a result, helps save taxpayers money. Every bridge MoDOT closes for construction is an opportunity to work on another bridge.
“It would’ve taken four months (without the closure),” Nance said.
Of the 10,249 bridges in Missouri’s state highway system, about 1,100 are in poor or serious condition. Safe & Sound means to address most of those bridges in need, Geyer said. Nance forecasts a lot of work in MoDOT’s future.
“We still have 22 more bridges in Ray County that need to be done, over a five-year period,” Nance said. “But I don’t know if we’re going to get anymore in Ray County done until next spring.”
The bridge will officially re-open no later than June 17.