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I-70 Rocheport Bridge replacement preliminary schedule, goals announced

Posted on Tuesday, November 10, 2020 at 11:25 am

Some of the initial details regarding one of mid-Missouri’s biggest roadway improvement projects are now available.

The Missouri Department of Transportation says they plan for construction of the new Interstate 70 Missouri River bridge near Rocheport to begin in late 2021. The design-build project will be completed by a contractor and designer team. That contract is scheduled to be awarded by the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission in July 2021.

MoDOT says construction will take several years and the new bridge is expected to be opened to traffic by the end of 2024.

Project Director Brandi Baldwin said there have already been several steps completed in preparation for construction of the new bridge.

“Before we are able to move forward with any construction plans, there are several factors that we have to assess,” Baldwin explained. “Last December we started the re-evaluation of an environmental study that had been completed for the bridge in 2005. In March we conducted geological testing and survey gathering that provided valuable information about the area’s rock and soil stability.”

MoDOT also announced the goals of the project, which start with meeting the expectation of delivering the project under the expected $240 million budget while still providing a quality product. The design-build contractor team will work to minimize traffic impacts during construction while focusing on the safety of the traveling public and the workers.

“Local, state, and federal agencies and lawmakers worked collaboratively to fund this project,” said MoDOT Central District Engineer Machelle Watkins. “It is one of our top priorities to use the money entrusted to us to build a quality product that will benefit travelers for decades to come.”

The current Rocheport Bridge was built in 1960 and is rated in poor condition. Further delays in replacing the bridge could have resulted in weight restrictions. Rehabilitation work would have only extended the life of the bridge by as little as 10 years and could have caused three-to-eight-hour backups along I-70.

Design-build is a delivery method that includes hiring one contracting team to complete the design and construction work under one contract. MoDOT provides the project goals, budget and schedule, and the contractor team conducts the work. This technique has been known to significantly save time and money.

More information about the bridge, as well as the full project goals and schedule overview, are now available at modot.org/RocheportBridge.

For more information and updates about other transportation-related matters, please call 1-888-ASK-MoDOT (275-6636) or visit www.modot.org/central. Follow the MoDOT Central Missouri District on Facebook and Twitter for project updates.