COLUMBIA - Missouri Department of Transportation officials said Monday the Route B bridge over Business Loop 70 does not pose a threat to drivers as the state plans to rebuild it.
MoDOT held an informational meeting for the public in Columbia to present plans for the bridge reconstruction. MoDOT cites a deteriorating bridge deck and structure as the need for replacing the 57-year-old bridge.
"The structure is perfectly safe to drive across," Transportation Project Manager Michael Dusenberg said. "Between now and when the construction starts the bridge structure is safe to drive on."
MoDOT officials said the construction will close down Route B and Business Loop 70 around the construction site for about 45 days this summer. Plans show the work could start at the end of June.
"Other bridges you can replace a deck or bits and pieces of the bridge," Dusenberg said. "This bridge you have to replace the entire structure."
The current bridge is a voided slab, meaning all the components of the bridge are one structure. Dusenberg said MoDOT does not build that type of bridge anymore because of its difficulty to repair.
MoDOT said it expects to complete the project by August when school returns.
This story has been edited to reflect that construction will close down the area of the bridge for 45 days, not 45 weeks.