MoDOT plans to replace Route 87 bridge over I-70

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BOONVILLE - MoDOT held a public hearing Thursday afternoon to inform the public on plans to replace the Route 87 bridge over I-70. The project also includes rebuilding the Route 87/I-70 interchange ramps, Route 87 and Nancy Potter Road.

"The bridge is over 50 years old. It has outlived its useful life, so we need to replace the bridge," said MoDOT Project Manager Michael Dusenberg.

The project is scheduled to begin in summer 2018 and is projected to take four months.

Dusenberg said there are eight properties, totaling almost an acre and a half, MoDOT has to acquire before construction can begin.

"The biggest concerns are access," Dusenberg said. 

He said people who live in the area and local business owners are worried about the access to and from I-70, but he said informing people early to plan ahead and notify customers can help the process. 

During construction, traffic will be redirected to some gravel roads. This is a concern for Laura Wax, who lives on a gravel road and attended the meeting to learn more about MoDOT's plans.

Dusenberg said MoDOT is working with the county to do things like minimize dust to make travel along those roads easier. 

Wax also has children in local schools and is concerned about school bus routes in fall 2018.

She said going to the meeting made her feel better about her concerns. 

"Overall the bridge does need to be replaced, and it is something that really needs to happen," Wax said.

The project will cost approximately $5 million. 

According to Dusenberg the new bridge will be two feet higher than the existing bridge, a decision that will save money in the future if I-70 is widened or rebuilt and the bridges are repaired and replaced accordingly. For this reason, extra grading, drainage and pavement construction in the area are necessary.

The only time I-70 will be significantly impacted is during the bridge demolition. Traffic will be redirected through the on and off ramps.