COLUMBIA — The Columbia City Council approved a project that would replace the Hinkson Creek Trail bridge, located east of Rock Quarry Road.
Built nearly 60 years ago, the bridge was formerly known as the Rock Quarry Road bridge. When Rock Quarry was rerouted, the span was no longer needed. In 2000, the bridge was incorporated into the Hinkson Creek Trail.The bridge connects trail users to the Grindstone Nature Area and MU.
A routine inspection in 2011 discovered that the super-structure had separated from multiple I-beams that held the bridge in place. The Columbia Parks and Recreation Department is in the process of hiring a contractor and plans to replace the span this winter. The bridge will remain open to the public until a date for construction has been chosen.
The probable cause of the failing bridge was rusting due to heavy salting during snow and ice storms, according to a report for the council.
After the initial inspection, Archon Engineering was hired to assess the bridge's condition and provide the city with solutions to make it safer for future trail users.
Archon Engineering provided plans for long-term repairs that included replacement of five I-beams that support the bridge as well as replacement of the wood decking, according to a Parks and Recreation Department report.
In order to make the necessary repairs, the bridge will need to be lifted by either a crane or hydraulic jacks. The method will be determined once a contractor is hired. If a crane is used, park staff will work with the contractor to ensure minimal impact on surrounding trees.
The bridge will be closed during construction and the trail will be temporarily rerouted along the shoulder of Rock Quarry Road.
On Monday, the council approved the project, and the work is expected to be finished in the spring.
The project is funded by $67,000 from the 2010 park sales tax and a $100,000 Recreational Trail Program grant sponsored by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.