COLUMBIA — Officials say a new bridge over Perche Creek on Burr Oak Road will be safer than the current structure for drivers and will help prevent flooding in McBaine, thanks to a new design.
"The new bridge will not have sharp curves, which will make it safer for the public to enter and exit the structure," Derin Campbell, Boone County Public Works interim director, said in a news release.
Porcshe Moran, Boone County public information officer, said one of the biggest reasons for the new design is a past problem with flooding near the existing bridge. Severe storms cause brush to get caught on two piers of the bridge, which then causes water in the area to overflow. Piers won’t exist in the new design.
“The new bridge is going to allow the levee system to work better, and that will help protect the town from flooding,” Moran said.
Whenever a large storm occurs, maintenance crews need to clear the brush around the bridge. Moran said the cleanup on April 29 cost $1,422.93 in labor and equipment expenses.
By eliminating sharp curves, the new structure will allow for traffic to go 45 mph. But Moran said the speed limit will stay at 35 mph because of curves along the road leading up to the bridge.
The cost of the project is $1.2 million, and a federal earmark provides $750,000 of the total cost. The rest will be paid for by the county and is already budgeted out of the road and bridge fund.
Construction on the bridge began Monday and is contracted to Phillips Grading, a company from Boonville. The project is tentatively scheduled to be finished Jan. 10, 2010.