Extraordinary effort by MoDOT contractors over the weekend has opened Route 291 at the Missouri River to two-way traffic in time for Monday morning's rush hour.
Contractors created a crossover by working around the clock in just a couple of days to reopen 291 to northbound traffic. APAC of Kansas was awarded the $329,178 contract to complete the work. The company had until 3 p.m. Tuesday to complete the project without penalty, but responded to the urgent need and finished by 5 a.m. Monday.
A routine bridge inspection prompted the Missouri Department of Transportation to immediately close the northbound Route 291 Bridge over the Missouri River on July 7. Rust has damaged the bridge, prompting the closure.
MoDOT is also working quickly to find solutions to repair the northbound Missouri River Bridge on Route 291, said Chris Redline, assistant district engineer for MoDOT. The bridge design division in Jefferson City contacted Wiss, Janney, and Elstner Associates of Chicago, a nationally known bridge engineering firm, to evaluate the bridge. Engineers from WJE were at the bridge Thursday inspecting the damage. The firm will evaluate the bridge, analyze the findings and propose solutions to repair the bridge. MoDOT anticipates it could be late summer before solutions are ready for evaluation.
Until the bridge is repaired and reopened, motorists will be able to use the crossover. For more information, go to MoDOT's website.