ROCHEPORT, Mo. (KMIZ)
Sunday, the Rocheport Bridge was blasted to begin construction of the new bridge heading eastbound following about an hour delay because of thick fog.
The truss of the bridge is the upper steel part that extends above the roadway.
For the safety of drivers and bridge crew members, Interstate 70 was closed in both directions right before the blast.
Crews will have up to an hour to clear the bridge heading westbound of any debris that may have fallen during the blast before it is reopened for travel.
The blast will drop over 1,000 feet of framework and six million pounds of steel into the Missouri River. Crews in the waterway will have 24 hours to clear it before allowing boat traffic to pass through.
The Rocheport bridge was originally constructed in 1960 and underwent extensive refurbishment in 1990. The most recent repairs happened in 2016 and 2017 where joints and expansion devices were replaced.
MoDOT says the reason why the bridge needed to be blasted was due to it needed another major rehabilitation, which would constrict traffic along the currently usable bridge into one lane of travel in each direction. It would also only expand the bridges lifespan by about 10 years.
According to MoDOT, the Rocheport Bridge carries 34,000 vehicles and 8,227 commercial vehicles per day.