ROCHEPORT, Mo. (KMIZ)
MoDOT and Lunda Construction held their fourth Saturday Superintendent Talk on Saturday at 9 am at Taylor's Landing discussing the clean-up status after last Sunday's blast of the I-70 Rocheport Bridge.
The demolition of the bridge dropped six million pounds of steel into the Missouri River and crews had 24 hours to clear the waterway of debris to allow boating traffic to resume.
However, it took crews approximately 70 hours to clear the river channel for boats and barges to pass through.
Crews say there was no backup of boat traffic due to the bridge blast.
There is still about 400 to 450 feet of debris from the blasted bridge truss in the water, which could take some time for crews to completely clear out of the water.
"We worked around the clock, so starting next week we are only going to work day shift so I would say about a week to two weeks to get that picked out of the water," Lunda Project Manager Talat Mansour said.
The process of getting the bridge tress out of the water requires heavy machinery and cranes to cut it up and transport it to a different location, where it will be recycled and used for another project.
"Crews have been torching the truss into smaller sections and lift it with a crane onto the barge and haul it off," said Project Manager Nicole Samer.
Once some of the sections are cut into smaller pieces, crews will then lift the entire bottom of the truss and pull it out as one big piece.
Mansour also said the next phase of the project will be adding drill shafts and pipe piles to begin the construction of the new bridge. Both of those projects are scheduled to start in October.
Katy Trail suffered minimal impact from the bridge blast or fallen debris, but crews still need to remove protective equipment which will be done without needing to fully close the trail.
Samer said crews were met with positive feedback from the community after the bridge blast.
"Everyone was excited to see the blast, have the bridge being open got a lot of positive comments about that," Samer said. "I think everyone is excited to see this section of the corridor expand and improve and have a better ride."
The $220 million bridge project is set to be completed in December of 2024.
The next Saturday Superintendent Talk will be October 21st at 9 am at the A-Frame Wine Garden.