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MoDOT replacing three bridges along I-70 in Columbia

A Mid-Missouri company is starting the first stages to replace three bridges over Interstate 70 in Columbia.

Wednesday, the Missouri Department of Transportation announced Emery Sapp and Sons will be the contractor of the $18 million project.

The three bridges that will be replaced include one at Garth Avenue and I-70, one at Rangeline and I-70 and the bridge near the Business Loop 70 and West Boulevard interchange.

MoDOT said it will be working with Emery Sapp and Sons this summer to finalize the design plans. And construction is set to begin this fall.

“These bridges were all built in 1957,” MoDOT Assistant Central Distrcit Engineer Travis Koestner said. “They were built with the original interstate through this area. And they’re all classified in poor condition. Their designed structure is such that it makes it really hard for us to rehabilitate or to rebuild, so the best course of action is just for us to replace those bridges.”

Koestner said the bridges carry an average of about 80,000 vehicles a day. MoDOT said even though they are in poor condition, they are safe for travel in the meantime.

Road closures will be limited to 30 days at Rangeline, 20 days at Garth Avenue and 45 days at Business Loop 70 West.

“With the selected proposing team, the impacts to I-70 traffic will be pretty minimal,” Koestner said. “We’re going to be able to maintain two lanes in each direction at all times, but they will be at times diverted off onto the ramp or onto a little bypass area.”

Koestner said there will also be some traffic improvements made with the project. That includes adding new round-a-bouts at Rangeline and on both sides of I-70 at the Business Loop and West Boulevard intersection.

MoDOT said the project is set to be completed by October 1st of next year. But Emery Sapp and Sons said its goal is to finish by the end of August 2016.

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