MODOT Bridge Improvement Program Ahead of Schedule

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COLUMBIA - MODOT says its program to improve Missouri's worst bridges will wrap up two years ahead of schedule.

The Department of Transportation's Safe and Sound Bridge Improvement program began in 2009. MODOT initially expected to repair hundreds of Missouri's bridges in five years.

Three years later, only three bridges have yet to be completed. Those bridges are under construction and MODOT expects to complete them in the next couple of weeks.

Throughout the state, MODOT has improved 799 bridges, 88 of which are in central Missouri. MODOT completed the final Mid-Missouri bridge on Thursday.

A MODOT official told KOMU a unique element allowed for the program to move quicker than expected.

"For many of these bridges, we closed entirely. We usually don't do that. We usually go in and leave one lane open for the traveling public, but the public was very accepting of this and as a result we were able to get in and fix these bridges fast," said customer relations manager Sally Oxenhandler.

Despite it's success, Oxenhandler said this may be the department's last big repair campaign for quite a while.

"We did have several years of a lot of construction but that is call coming to a close. So programs like the Safe and Sound Bridge Improvement Program are not on the horizon in the near future," said Oxenhandler.

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