Katy Trail Bridge to reopen

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JEFFERSON CITY - After two months of construction and one lane traffic on Highway 63 near Jefferson City, the Katy Trail Bridge is ready to reopen.  The bridge closed June 5 so a new deck could be placed on the structure. Since then, traffic from the southbound side has been directed onto the northbound side causing both directions to have only one lane open.

Aaron Peck, resident engineer for the Missouri Department of Transportation's Central District, said it was time to restructure the bridge.

“We took off the old bridge deck and put on a brand new one," he said. "We kept the old girders and the sub structure underneath the driving surface, but the deck itself and barrier walls are all brand new.”

Peck said the goal was to have the bridge ready before the influx of traffic expected for the August 21 solar eclipse.

“Theres a lot of guesses out there as to how many additional people are gonna be on our highway for that weekend," he said. "Traffic ran very smoothly for routine day to day traffic but to have a sudden high volume influx of people, we just wanted to make sure we had all lanes back open there in that area to keep people moving safely.”

Peck said the goal is to have the southbound lanes completely open by the end of the day Monday. However the northbound lanes, which currently have the concrete barriers up dividing traffic, may take a little bit longer.

"We’ll be working on getting the northbound direction back open to two lanes as well," he said. "By the end of the week the goal is to have all lanes back open."

Some additional work will take place after the bridge is open, and motorists may encounter occasional lane closures through September, when the entire project is scheduled to be completed.