JEFFERSON CITY — Road closed. Detour.
Get used to it, Missouri drivers, because there will be a lot of bridges closed this year.
The Missouri Department of Transportation says more than 200 bridges are scheduled for work this year. In almost all cases, the bridges will be closed during construction, meaning motorists will have to find an alternative route to get over whatever passes underneath those bridges.
Closing and rebuilding bridges in their same locations — instead of building a new bridge nearby — reduces the need for the state to buy additional right of way and to pave new approaches to the bridges. That allows the projects to be completed more quickly and at a lower cost, the transportation department said.
Most of the bridges being constructed in 2010 are part of a massive $487 million contract awarded last year to KTU Constructors to design and replace 554 bridges over a four-year period. Many of this year's bridge replacements will occur in northwest and west-central Missouri, the Kansas City area and the Bootheel.
MoDOT has created a Web site with suggested detour routes for all of the bridge projects.
An interactive map on the Internet site shows a picture of each bridge, the year it originally was built, its length, how long it is expected to be closed, when construction work is to begin and how many vehicles typically use the bridge each day. The Web site also shows a highlighted route that can be used to get around the bridge.