The bridges should be open to two-lane traffic by Thanksgiving.

On March 2, construction will begin on both the Thompson River and Grand River bridge.

Earlier this week, the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) announced work on both bridges will begin early next month and should be completed by Thanksgiving.

The Thompson River Bridge, located just west of Chillicothe on Route 190, has been serving motorists since 1964. According to a press release from MoDOT more than 2,500 vehicles pass over the bridge daily, which has taken its toll on the bridge deck, or driving surface. A rehabilitation project to place a new bridge deck will be led by contractors from Comanche Construction Inc., working with the MoDOT crews construction is expected to begin on Monday, March 2.

The first week of work will be at a driveway entrance on the northwest corner of the bridge.

Bridge construction will be staged to allow one lane of traffic over the bridge throughout much of the project, with a 10-foot width restriction. Temporary traffic signals will be used to guide motorists through the work zone.

During two portions of the project to connect the new bridge deck with the roadway, a complete closure of Route 190 at the bridge will be necessary. The exact dates of the closures are not known at this time, according to the press release, but one is anticipated in mid to late June and one in mid to late October. During those closures, traffic will be directed over a signed detour route on Routes 190, 6 and U.S. Highway 65.

Contractors plan to have the bridge open to two-way traffic by Thanksgiving. As with all construction, work is weather-permitting, and schedules are subject to change, the press release said.

The Grand River Bridge is about one mile south of Chillicothe on U.S Highway 65, which crosses the Grand River. The bridge spanning the river was built in 1965 and carries more than 3,800 vehicles each day. A rehabilitation project to place a new bridge deck will be led by contractors from Radmacher Brothers Excavating Co., working with MoDOT.

The first portion of the project, which will take approximately one month, will be the relocation of an access road on the north side of the bridge.

Bridge construction will start after the driveway relocation and will be staged to allow one lane of traffic over the bridge throughout much of the project, with an 11.5-foot width restriction. According to the press release, temporary traffic signals will be used to guide motorists through the work zone.

During two portions of the project to connect the new bridge deck with the roadway, a complete closure of U.S. Highway 65 at the bridge will be necessary. The exact dates of the closures are not known at this time, but one is anticipated in mid to late June and one in mid to late October. During those closures, traffic will be directed over a signed detour route on Routes Z, C and U.S. Route 36.

Contractors plan to have the bridge open to two-way traffic before Thanksgiving. As with all construction, work is weather-permitting, and schedules are subject to change.

Both of the bridges are included in Gov. Mike Parson’s “Focus on Bridges” program passed by the Missouri General Assembly during its 2019 session. The program appropriated $50 million in state general revenue to fund 45 high priority bridge projects throughout the state.