Bothered Mo. Bridges Pose Safety Hazard

3 years 1 month 5 days ago December 19, 2013 Dec 19, 2013 Thursday, December 19 2013 Thursday, December 19, 2013 1:56:00 PM CST in News
By: Maddie Heidenreich, KOMU Reporter
Embed Code Copied

BOONE COUNTY - You use them almost every day and may not think twice before driving over or under Missouri bridges.

"People who drive under this bridge every day may start to notice that it is starting to deteriorate on the underneath side," said Former Safety Council Member Joe Alder.
Alder is talking about the I-70 Overpass near Business Loop 70, a bridge that almost 60 thousand cars drive across daily. 

KOMU 8 News presented photos of gaping holes and loose concrete falling from the underside of the bridge to University of Missouri Professor and Civil Engineer Charles Nemmers.
"What I saw is certainly not comfortable because you saw reinforcing steel exposed in the bottom of a concrete girder," said Nemmers.

Half a yard stick fit into a hole where the steel is exposed and the bridge is deteriorating. Nemmers took a closer look at this area and said the concrete on this type of bridge is called a voided slab and meant more for appearance than strength.

"The concrete around that steel keeps it so it looks nice and smooth," said Nemmers. "It is significant, but it's not really important for the strength of the bridge."

MoDOT also says there really is nothing to worry about because of the structure.

"Just because you had a large hole up in there doesn't mean that's a bad thing," said MoDOT District Bridge Engineer Alan Trampe. "In this particular instance, that's the way it was designed and that's the way it was built."

But Nemmers still thinks the bridge needs attention.

"When I saw that it was gone and had collapsed out and you could stick it a little bit and it would come loose, thats not really good and needs to be fixed, but it's nowhere near catastrophic," said Nemmers.

One driver still feels uneasy about the loose concrete over the roadway.

"I'm hoping MoDOT inspects it on a periodic basis; a frequent basis just to make sure that no large chunks of concrete would fall off of the underside of the bridge or fall on to a vehicle, a bicyclist or a pedestrian and potentially kill or injure them," said Alder.

"The more safety problem is the concrete falling down on something underneath, but it's not something in any ways that is going to collapse," said Nemmers. "There is not even a hint of that, so it's safe but I would think that they need to fix it and put it into the program."

MoDOT last inspected the I-70 overpass near Business Loop in 2011. Trampe said crews have also been around to knock off more loose concrete before winter arrives. 

"This one here is just getting to the point where it has served its purpose and you know, we've got a lot of traffic on it and we're starting to get some deterioration so we do have it in the program to get it replaced," said Trampe. "Now we just have to figure out what we are able to put back in here."

The complete replacement should take place in 2015 and cost MoDOT about $10 million dollars according to the STIP or Statewide Transportation Improvement Program.

In the past, Missouri had a bad reputation for some of the worst bridges, but the state is getting better after completing Safe and Sound, a $685 million dollar bridge improvement program. 

"These are basically for smaller bridges all over the state, so that has really helped a whole lot," said Nemmers. "It's made a lot of its bridges better because MoDOT has responsibility for a lot more bridges than a lot of other states."

MoDOT replaced or repaired 802 smaller bridges, finishing more than a year before its self-imposed deadline. 

So why didn't the bridge carrying I-70 over Business Loop fit into the program?

"A lot of it was the scope of the work and the total replacement on an interstate would have been way outside the scope of what the Safe and Sound Program was really focusing on," said Trampe. "They really focused on the simpler ones that were easy to shutdown."

MoDOT sold GARVEE or Grant Anticipation Revenue Vehicles Bonds with 24 annual payments of about $50 million dollars. It also used one-third of the yearly federal bridge replacement fund, but now that money is spent and MoDOT has more to do. 

"We have made grounds on the overlay condition of our bridges, but we need to continue that emphasis on bridges to be able to maintain where we are at and what we have gained over the last four or five years," said Trampe. 

With less funding, can the state keep it up?

"Me personally, I think it is going to be tough to do that. It was a real aggressive program focusing on bridges," said Trampe. "Now, we've got limited funds and the funding is going down each year and we have to incorporate our pavement and other projects along as well and be able to prioritize our needs."

MoDOT says there's money for projects in its future construction program and it will complete the projects as planned. 

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Police Department said it arrested two armed robbery suspects Monday. Detectives said they arrested 26-year-old... More >>
6 hours ago January 23, 2017 Jan 23, 2017 Monday, January 23 2017 Monday, January 23, 2017 10:40:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - One person was hospitalized after being shot in north Columbia Monday evening, according to the Columbia Police Department.... More >>
8 hours ago January 23, 2017 Jan 23, 2017 Monday, January 23 2017 Monday, January 23, 2017 8:47:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA- A recent study from researchers at the University of California, San Diego and San Diego State University show sedentary... More >>
9 hours ago January 23, 2017 Jan 23, 2017 Monday, January 23 2017 Monday, January 23, 2017 7:39:00 PM CST in News
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — A 70-year-old man who told investigators after robbing a Kansas bank that he'd rather be... More >>
9 hours ago January 23, 2017 Jan 23, 2017 Monday, January 23 2017 Monday, January 23, 2017 7:15:01 PM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri's new Republican secretary of state has been defending his decision to appoint a securities industry... More >>
9 hours ago January 23, 2017 Jan 23, 2017 Monday, January 23 2017 Monday, January 23, 2017 7:08:05 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - The City of Columbia is looking to improve its apartment recycling program. The program provides recycling containers, which... More >>
10 hours ago January 23, 2017 Jan 23, 2017 Monday, January 23 2017 Monday, January 23, 2017 6:39:00 PM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Legislation regarding the safety of Missouri law enforcement officers and first responders continues to be a hot... More >>
11 hours ago January 23, 2017 Jan 23, 2017 Monday, January 23 2017 Monday, January 23, 2017 5:40:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - A twin-engine Beechcraft Baron aircraft had a crash landing on Monday afternoon at Columbia Regional Airport. The... More >>
12 hours ago January 23, 2017 Jan 23, 2017 Monday, January 23 2017 Monday, January 23, 2017 4:38:00 PM CST in News
ST. JOSEPH (AP) — A proposed bill would impose penalties on Missouri gun owners who don't report a lost or... More >>
13 hours ago January 23, 2017 Jan 23, 2017 Monday, January 23 2017 Monday, January 23, 2017 3:16:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - If you're a Missourian and have purchased dairy products in the past 14 years, you might be eligible... More >>
14 hours ago January 23, 2017 Jan 23, 2017 Monday, January 23 2017 Monday, January 23, 2017 2:55:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again (and again and again). Sleep is incredibly important. It’s... More >>
15 hours ago January 23, 2017 Jan 23, 2017 Monday, January 23 2017 Monday, January 23, 2017 1:47:00 PM CST in News
AUDRAIN COUNTY - A Vandalia man was sentenced to seven years in jail after he encouraged a 13-year-old to have... More >>
15 hours ago January 23, 2017 Jan 23, 2017 Monday, January 23 2017 Monday, January 23, 2017 1:43:00 PM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri State Auditor Nicole Galloway released an audit on Shelbina municipal court in northeast Missouri that found... More >>
15 hours ago January 23, 2017 Jan 23, 2017 Monday, January 23 2017 Monday, January 23, 2017 1:13:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - Economic Development Director Stacey Button is not looking for a new airport manager. Former Columbia Regional Airport... More >>
16 hours ago January 23, 2017 Jan 23, 2017 Monday, January 23 2017 Monday, January 23, 2017 12:32:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia police are looking for a possible link between a shots-fired call and a shooting victim who showed... More >>
19 hours ago January 23, 2017 Jan 23, 2017 Monday, January 23 2017 Monday, January 23, 2017 9:35:00 AM CST in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Authorities say a decomposed body has been found near a bridge in a Kansas City... More >>
22 hours ago January 23, 2017 Jan 23, 2017 Monday, January 23 2017 Monday, January 23, 2017 6:30:00 AM CST in News
LA MONTE - The Pettis County Prosecuting Attorney's Office filed charges against three men after a home invasion Saturday night.... More >>
1 day ago January 22, 2017 Jan 22, 2017 Sunday, January 22 2017 Sunday, January 22, 2017 6:47:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - The MFA Oil Break Time shootout featured talented athletes from all around Missouri on Sunday. There were six... More >>
1 day ago January 22, 2017 Jan 22, 2017 Sunday, January 22 2017 Sunday, January 22, 2017 6:45:00 PM CST in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 33°
5am 32°
6am 33°
7am 33°
8am 33°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

5:00a
KOMU 8 News Today
6:00a
KOMU 8 News Today
7:00a
Today
5:00a
Paid Program
5:30a
Paid Program
6:00a
King of the Hill

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
The Wall
8:00p
This Is Us
9:00p
Chicago Fire
7:00p
The Flash
8:00p
DC's Legends of Tomorrow
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld