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Rustic Road bridge construction delayed

ABC 17 News has been following efforts to fix a Boone County bridge for the last three years, which is now delayed again.

School bus drivers, firefighters and others have been concerned about the bridge on Rustic Road off Route WW just east of Columbia.

It is the only way to cross the north fork of the Grindstone Creek.

Things have become so bad that school buses will not even try to cross the bridge since the weight limit has dropped from 40 tons, down to 15 and now 3. The limit has decreased as the bridge has deteriorated.

So far nothing has been done yet on the Rustic Road bridge that is more than 80 years old. A temporary fix has been made while the bridge is under construction, but the start date for that construction has not yet been made.

“We are going to be behind what was originally planned. It will get done sometime this year,” said Darin Campbell, chief engineer with Boone County Public Works.

The waiting game continues for the 13 families who cross the Rustic Road bridge every day. They were promised a new bridge last October.

On Monday ABC 17 News talked with Darin Campbell, who is leading the project. He told ABC 17 News the reason for the new delay is they only had one bidder.

“The price that we got was way over the budget…$150,000 over,” said Campbell.

Campbell told ABC 17 News the county plans on rebidding the project either late summer or early fall.

“Right now there are only a certain amount of bridge contractors in the state. When they get busy, they have deadlines to meet on their current projects and at that time of year that’s what happened,” said Campbell.

Campbell told ABC 17 News the plans are set for the project, nothing is changing.

It will still be an innovative bridge.

“The biggest challenge is the fact that it’s an innovate construction technique,” said Campbell.

The plan will almost double the size of the bridge now and should last another 70 years without deteriorating.

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