COLUMBIA — Route WW just east of Columbia will be closed for about eight weeks beginning Feb. 21 to replace a bridge over the north fork of Grindstone Creek.
Mike Schupp, area engineer for the Missouri Department of Transportation, said the entire bridge will be replaced because of the deterioration of the deck panel and substructure. The project was expected to take about 54 days, he said.
The bridge, just east of U.S. 63, is one of 12 in Boone County undergoing replacement or reconstruction as part of MoDOT's Safe & Sound Bridge Improvement Program.
The program, which began in the winter of 2009, calls for the repair or reconstruction of 802 bridges in Missouri. Eight bridges in Boone County have been completed, and 330 have been finished statewide.
Bob Brendel, outreach coordinator for the bridge initiative, said the cost of the entire program was an estimated $685 million.
The plan is financially divided into two categories. KTU Constructors was selected to replace 554 bridges by the end of 2013 at a cost of about $487 million, including the one on Route WW. Brendel said he didn't know the exact cost of the Route WW bridge because it's part of the overall KTU contract.
The remaining 248 bridges are to undergo repairs to the surface decking and are being released for bids from different contractors according to type, size or location, Brendel said.