Construction has commenced on the I-70 Missouri River bridge near Rocheport and was commemorated by Governor Mike Parson and Missouri Department of Transportation officials who were joined by federal, state, and local leaders. The current bridge was built in 1960 and is rated as being in poor condition, which may have resulted in weight restrictions in the coming years. The 60-year-old bridge is safe and will continue to be maintained by MoDOT while construction of the new bridge is underway. The bridge carries 12.5 million vehicles per year, including 3.6 million trucks.
Funding for the Missouri River bridge near Rocheport
The new Missouri River bridge will cost around US$240 million and will offer interstate passengers with a secure and reliable bridge for the next 100 years. This project was partially financed by an Infrastructure Rebuilding America Grant of $81.2 million, the largest competitive grant ever obtained by MoDOT.
Many safety enhancements will be included in the new bridges, such as a high friction surface treatment and pavement sensors to reduce weather-related incidents, wet reflective striping, and a linear delineation system (a line of reflective signs along the barrier wall) to help increase lane and bridge visibility. The first bridge will be erected north of the present bridge and will be finished by the end of 2023. After that, traffic will be transferred to the new bridge, the old bridge will be dismantled, and building on the eastbound bridge is expected to be finished by the end of 2024.
“Of course, this bridge isn’t the only one in Missouri that needs to be repaired. There are hundreds of bridges around the state that need to be renovated or replaced, but this project demonstrates that by working together, we can make significant progress. “We are tremendously pleased of our MoDOT team’s accomplishments and look forward to seeing what more they accomplish in the coming years,” Governor Parson stated.