Bothered Mo. Bridges Pose Safety Hazard

5 years 11 months 2 days ago Thursday, December 19 2013 Dec 19, 2013 Thursday, December 19, 2013 1:56:00 PM CST December 19, 2013 in News
By: Maddie Heidenreich, KOMU Reporter
loading

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
NEW BLOOMFIELD — The New Bloomfield School District said it is thinking of moving to a four-day school week after... More >>
2 hours ago Thursday, November 21 2019 Nov 21, 2019 Thursday, November 21, 2019 9:16:00 PM CST November 21, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Lincoln University faculty members are voicing their concerns to university officials after it raised their health care... More >>
4 hours ago Thursday, November 21 2019 Nov 21, 2019 Thursday, November 21, 2019 7:07:00 PM CST November 21, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Another MU fraternity has been suspended just two weeks after the suspension of Sigma Chi. This time, the... More >>
6 hours ago Thursday, November 21 2019 Nov 21, 2019 Thursday, November 21, 2019 5:04:00 PM CST November 21, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri residents could soon find it easier to update their addresses for voter registration... More >>
7 hours ago Thursday, November 21 2019 Nov 21, 2019 Thursday, November 21, 2019 4:31:00 PM CST November 21, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) and the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (DNR) are asking Missourians... More >>
8 hours ago Thursday, November 21 2019 Nov 21, 2019 Thursday, November 21, 2019 3:30:00 PM CST November 21, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY- The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services released its latest report on rural health on Friday, detailing... More >>
8 hours ago Thursday, November 21 2019 Nov 21, 2019 Thursday, November 21, 2019 2:51:00 PM CST November 21, 2019 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — The 81-year-old mayor of a St. Louis suburb was charged Thursday with submitting fraudulent absentee... More >>
9 hours ago Thursday, November 21 2019 Nov 21, 2019 Thursday, November 21, 2019 2:19:00 PM CST November 21, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Cole County SWAT team and the MUSTANG Drug Task Force conducted a drug search Tuesday, arresting... More >>
9 hours ago Thursday, November 21 2019 Nov 21, 2019 Thursday, November 21, 2019 1:46:00 PM CST November 21, 2019 in News
FULTON - Deputies arrested a man Wednesday afternoon while conducting a drug search, according to Callaway County Sheriff's Office. ... More >>
9 hours ago Thursday, November 21 2019 Nov 21, 2019 Thursday, November 21, 2019 1:36:00 PM CST November 21, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Wednesday's fire at the Missouri State Penitentiary started as a result of a training burn by the... More >>
10 hours ago Thursday, November 21 2019 Nov 21, 2019 Thursday, November 21, 2019 1:03:00 PM CST November 21, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A Columbia man pleaded guilty Thursday to setting a fire at the Planned Parenthood clinic in Columbia... More >>
11 hours ago Thursday, November 21 2019 Nov 21, 2019 Thursday, November 21, 2019 12:02:00 PM CST November 21, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The first annual Dementia Caregiver Retreat is helping the loved ones of dementia patients prepare for the... More >>
20 hours ago Thursday, November 21 2019 Nov 21, 2019 Thursday, November 21, 2019 3:24:00 AM CST November 21, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - A scooter rental pilot program in Columbia is soon to expire. Now, the scooter company is seeking a... More >>
22 hours ago Thursday, November 21 2019 Nov 21, 2019 Thursday, November 21, 2019 12:34:00 AM CST November 21, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - A pedestrian was hit by a vehicle Wednesday night, according to MU Police spokeswoman Sara Diedrich. It... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, November 20 2019 Nov 20, 2019 Wednesday, November 20, 2019 9:53:00 PM CST November 20, 2019 in News
FULTON - The only hospital in Callaway County could be in its final days of serving the community. Fulton Medical... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, November 20 2019 Nov 20, 2019 Wednesday, November 20, 2019 9:19:00 PM CST November 20, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia Regional Airport is one step closer to getting a new terminal. The city Airport Advisory Board... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, November 20 2019 Nov 20, 2019 Wednesday, November 20, 2019 6:51:00 PM CST November 20, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - In its first season of competition, the University of Missouri Esports team were crowned champions after winning the... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, November 20 2019 Nov 20, 2019 Wednesday, November 20, 2019 6:08:00 PM CST November 20, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A fire broke out Wednesday afternoon at the Missouri State Penitentiary. According to fire personnel, the... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, November 20 2019 Nov 20, 2019 Wednesday, November 20, 2019 5:37:00 PM CST November 20, 2019 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 40°
12am 40°
1am 39°
2am 38°
3am 37°