COLUMBIA — Eleven down, one to go.
The Missouri Department of Transportation's Safe & Sound Bridge Improvement Program is scheduled to begin its final project in Boone County in June, Bob Brendel, communications coordinator for the program, said Tuesday.
The program, which began in 2009, was originally scheduled to complete 802 bridge improvement projects in five years, according to a previous Missourian article. But Brendel said MoDOT is on target to finish by the end of 2012, a year earlier than expected.
The goal of the program was to eliminate at least one unsafe bridge in every county, focus on bridges in serious condition and widen bridges in rural areas because of their importance to agriculture, Brendel said.
"The goal is to fix as many bridges as possible, and so far we have achieved that," he said.
The final project in Boone County will replace a bridge on Highway NN over Lick Fork Creek, Brendel said. The bridge is located three miles west of U.S. 63.
The bridge is being replaced because MoDOT has designated it a condition 4 bridge, Brendel said, meaning it is in poor condition.
It is one of eight bridges in Boone County that was to be completely replaced, he said. On four other bridges, only the decks were replaced.
Brendel said four projects remain in Callaway County. Construction on the next project, a bridge on Highway 94 over Auxvasse Creek, will begin in July.
Work on the final project in Cole County and the three remaining projects in Callaway County are scheduled to be completed in 2012, Brendel said. He said based on the average completion time for past projects, people should expect these bridges to be closed for about 40 days.
Brendel said progress in central Missouri is moving faster than in other areas of the state.
MoDOT has approximately 250 more bridges throughout the state scheduled to be completed by the end of 2011, Brendel said.