Bridge inspections will cause traffic delays

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JEFFERSON CITY – During the week of January 2, routine bridge inspections will cause delays in Cole and Miller Counties.

The inspections will take place on U.S. Route 50 and U.S. Route 54.

According to MoDOT, bridge inspection crews from Jefferson City are planning to inspect bridges in these three areas:
• Route 50 westbound over the Moreau River in Jefferson City. Crews will inspect the bridge between 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 3 through Thursday, Jan. 5.
• Route 54 over the Moreau River west of Jefferson City. Crews will inspect the eastbound and westbound bridges between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 3 through Thursday, Jan. 5.
• Route 54 eastbound over Business Route 54 in Eldon. Crews will inspect the bridge between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 3 through Friday, Jan. 6.

Drivers should expect lane closures and delays as a result of the inspections, and MoDOT said it appreciates drivers’ patience during this time.

A commuter, Darren Heckman, said keeping the bridges safe is necessary, even though it might be a nucence for a short amount of time. 

"I use highway 50 every day, live east of there," Heckman said. "And it is very heavily populated. Expecially during the week. People getting to and from work. People that live east of Jefferson City, that's the main highway into Jefferson City, so it is used a lot. I just have to give myself some more time, or there is a different route I could take if I find a need to do so."

Scott Stotlemeyer, assistant state bridge engineer with MoDOT, said the inspections are part of a routine program to ensure safety of the State’s 10,400 structures and find maintenance needs.  

“Under this program, we inspect all state structures on a 2-4 year cycle based on inspection type, structure type, and its condition,” Stotlemeyer said. “While there are 866 state structures in poor condition, these structures are in fair to good condition and any unsafe bridge is closed.”

He also said to reduce traffic impacts, these inspections will take place at off-peak traffic times during the daylight.

"A lane drop will only be necessary at the first location. Inspections at the other three locations will be done with no encroachment of the driving lanes," Stotlemeyer said.

Jefferson City resident, Sandy Willibrand, said this might affect her travels during the work week. 

"It may just take a few minutes of my time to wait for the traffic, but that area is so heavily traveled because so much of Jefferson City's workforce lives outside of the city in the rural areas in Osage and those counties out that direction," Willibrand said. 

Stotlemeyer asked drivers to move over or slow down in the work zones to provide a safer work environment for the inspectors.

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