The I-70 bridge near Rocheport will be shut down to one lane each way this week.

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ROCHEPORT - The I-70 bridge that crosses the Missouri River at Rocheport will be closed down to one lane each way intermittently until Thursday, August 31.

Missouri Department of Transportation will close one westbound lane on Monday and Tuesday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. and one eastbound lane on Wednesday and Thursday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

MoDOT Supervising Bridge Inspection Engineer David Musser said they are closing the lanes for a biannual routine inspection, which will also include preparatory work for an upcoming project.

"In 2019, we're planning on doing a rehabilitation of the bridge, so at the same time we are doing a fractured critical safety inspection we are also looking for maintenance items that we can incorporate into that project," Musser said.

Musser said this inspection requires under-bridge inspection equipment, so as long as the equipment works properly and there are no weather delays, this inspection should be completed Thursday.

"The federal government has a requirement that we inspect each bridge for safety and this bridge is a truss bridge so we also have to do what's called a fractured critical inspection which," Musser said, "requires us to get within hands reach of every fractured critical member of the bridge."

"The lanes are rather narrow on that bridge so when we set up our equipment it constricts the flow of traffic a little bit so, I do expect a back-up, but we have people out there checking to make sure the back-up doesn't get to excessive and if it does we will clear the lane and let the congestion ease up a little bit," Musser said.

Prairie Home resident, Rick Hannegan said he drives on the bridge 5 days a week commuting to and from work, and traffic is always bad on his way home from work in the afternoon.
"It's not going to be nice in the afternoon, but if they have to do it they have to do it. If it's good for safety then it's good for me," Hannegan said.
Dennis Race, a Fayette resident, said he commutes on the I-70 bridge but isn't too concerned about the closure because, "out this far west traffic is pretty minimal."

MoDOT said drivers may experience traffic delays and to allow extra time for travels.