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MODOT Announces Contractor for I-44 Bridge Project

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MODOT
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A project to replace or rehabilitate 19 bridges along a 30-mile stretch of I-44 is expected to begin this spring.

Greg Chapman, the project manager, said the bridges, between Sarcoxie and Halltown, date to the early 1960s when I-44 was built.

"They were basically built between 1960 and 1964, so they're between 55 and 60-years-old.  They've pretty much served their life," he said.

The Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission has chosen Emory Sapp and Sons for the design/build project.  They’ll be partnering with Parsons Transportation Group. 

MODOT’s usual protocol when preparing for a project is to have the design prepared before putting out bids.

Chapman said design/build is different.

"They're required to put together, you know, a contractor/designer/professional services combo package, so the contractor and the designer are teamed up," he said.  "They're responsible for the design."

One of the reasons Emory Sapp was chosen, Chapman said, is they were able to maximize the service life of as many bridges as possible with the funding available.

The $36 million project will replace 12 bridges and rehab seven.  (paraphrase Greg2)

Between 36,000 and 40,000 vehicles use I-44 each day, and Chapman said it’s critical that the state keeps the roadway in good condition.

"You know, there are so many goods and services that traverse I-44," he said.  "It's a critical component to our economy, and we can't afford to allow these bridges to get to a point to where we're having one-lane closures and things of that nature."

The completion date is December 2021, but Chapman said more than one bridge will be worked on at once, so the project could be finished before that.

Traffic impacts will be minimized as much as possible by using smart boards well ahead of the work zones to warn drivers of delays ahead so they can exit if they need to.