Construction of a new bridge over the Canadian Pacific Railroad tracks in east Chillicothe is slated to begin within the next several weeks.
Earlier this month, the Missouri Department of Transportation began clearing a path by removing debris, trees, bushes, brush and houses for construction of a new road and bridge connecting Route V with Polk Street. Four houses were demolished in the process and three are being salvaged. One house has yet to be removed.
Actual bridge construction is set to begin in mid-May, with completion tentatively set for Sept. 13, according to Michael Marriott, construction inspector with MoDOT. The contract completion date is Nov. 1.
The old bridge, which is on East Bridge Street, will remain open throughout the duration of construction, so traffic will have a way through. The current bridge will be removed by the railroad within 60 days of completion of the new one.
The old bridge is becoming deficient, said Marriott, noting that it is one of the last remaining completely timber bridges on the state system. With the need to replace the existing bridge, it was decided that the new bridge could be placed further north of the existing bridge and thus allow for the elimination of a series of 90-degree curves currently on Route V near Chillicothe.
The project will give motorists leaving Chillicothe a straight path. They will be able to travel on Polk Street, go straight over the new bridge and reach Route V, Marriott said. Because Polk Street is a one-way street (eastbound only), motorists entering the city via Route V will need to turn onto Broadway before proceeding on into town.
MoDOT has contracted with APAC-Missouri to complete the construction project at a cost of $1.4 million.
The entire project is a cost share endeavor between the city of Chillicothe and MoDOT and is estimated at $3.7 million.
Keith Killen, MoDOT project manager, stated that the city's portion is $1.5 million, and that when all costs are computed for the project (including the state's purchase of land parcels and rights-of-way, as well as design costs, construction inspection, and utilities relocation borne by the state), it will be a near 50-50 split between the two entities.
The railroad built the existing bridge in 1936, Killen said. It was built 30 feet wide and has a narrow roadway because of sidewalks going over the bridge.
The new bridge will be a concrete I-girder structure with a concrete deck. It will have a 26-foot roadway surface. In addition, there will be a five-foot wide sidewalk with a barrier. The grade of the bridge will not be as steep as the current bridge, Killen said.
The Route V project was originally intended to be let in August 2012; however, it was delayed pending discussions with the railroad.
Page 2 of 2 - Killen noted that construction will be mostly in isolated areas, but there will be times when traffic may be affected on Missouri and Broadway streets.
"We ask that people be careful when they go through the work zone," he said.