Construction begins on Bonne Femme bridge

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COLUMBIA - Construction began today on the second of a seven bridge improvement project. 

Construction on the bridge over Bonne Femme Creek will cause traffic to go down to one lane. One engineer at the Missouri Department of Transportation, Aaron Peck, said it could delay drivers commute to work by at least 10 minutes.

The work on this bridge is scheduled to be done by August. MoDoT plans to improve seven bridges total along route 63 by the spring of 2020. 

Peck said these repairs should extend the life of the bridge by 15-20 years. He said some of the reasons they are doing repairs, and not full replacements, is because it is only the top layer of the bridge that needs replacing as well as the lack of funding.

"The gas tax hasn't risen for quite some time and prices have gone up for construction items over the decades and the dollars were getting are still reflective of many years ago yet prices have changed. The dollar doesn't go as far."

Peck said that MoDoT had plans for the future funding they would have received from the increased gas tax on proposition D, but when that didn't pass they had to regroup and go from there. 

"If a bridge honestly needs replacing then that's the project that we do but if the bridge isn't actually in need of a full replacement at that time and we can still get more life out of it by doing a rehab project for less money then that's the direction we will try and go."

Construction has also started on the Grindstone Parkway Bridge. The other bridges scheduled for repair are the Southbound and Northbound bridge over Cedar Creek as well as the bridges over Turkey Creek, Gans Creek and the Katy Trail.