By MICHAEL BUSHNELL
February 13, 2014
Commuters using the US 24 (Independence Avenue) bridges that bisect the old Sheffield Steel Works will soon have to find an alternate route to and from Interstate 435 and Western Independence. The two spans that traverse the Blue River and the Union Pacific Railroad line are slated for some major construction work during the spring and summer months of this year.
According to MoDOT Spokesman Steve Porter, the two bridges are due for re-decking and joint replacement work that’s set to begin in late March. The $4.8 million project has been awarded to LG Barcus Construction out of Kansas City, Kan., and calls for complete closure of US 24 between Ewing Avenue on the west and Manchester Avenue on the east from March 31 through June 16, 2014.
“Keep in mind that the 80-year-old bridges were originally constructed in 1934 under then-Presiding Judge Harry Truman’s 10-year plan, using Pendergast’s Ready-Mixed Concrete,” said Porter. The bridges underwent rehab work in 1977, then again in 1994 and 2009. Porter noted that the 2009 deck repair and joint replacement work that was done on the westernmost of the three spans is what got the bridge on to this season’s replacement schedule. “The 2009 crews probably noted the advanced deterioration and got the project in to the design process immediately,” said Porter.
Exact closure dates and alternate routes have not yet been determined, said Porter, but the project is slated for contraction completion of July 31, 2014. We’ll have detailed updates as more information becomes available.