Work has already begun for the new Champ Clark Bridge across the Mississippi River at Louisiana and MoDOT is hoping to open it to traffic on or before Nov. 1, 2019.
Workers from the engineering firm of PSBA Inc. of Hannibal were taking soil borings out of the river using a barge last week just south of the existing bridge, which is the preferred route so far.
“They’re trying to get an idea of where the rock is and where things are down there,” PSBA Surveyor Chester Brown said Thursday, July 14.
PSBA is also surveying the area around the corner of Hwy. 54 and Hwy. 79 for accurate property boundary lines in anticipation of some pavement being removed or shifted, Brown added.
MoDOT expects the Ayerco convenience store will have to be eliminated if the design-build team awarded the bridge contract sticks with the southern route.
Other routes were not chosen for fear of removing more businesses and the state having to buy more land, thereby driving up the bridge’s estimated $60 million cost.
MoDOT Bridge Project Engineer Keith Killen issued goals and a tentative time line for the project last week. The goals are:
• Meet or beat the project open to traffic date of Nov. 1, 2019.
• Deliver a project on budget that supports everyday commuters and freight.
• Construct a safe, reliable, low maintenance Mississippi River Bridge that will provide at least a century of service.
• Minimize and mitigate construction impacts and maximize work zone safety to customers and workers.
• Deliver the project using a diverse workforce by use of innovative techniques.
• Demonstrate a commitment to quality.
The tentative schedule is:
• Issue requests for qualifications, January 2017.
• Short list of qualifiers announced, February 2017.
• Issue requests for proposals to build the bridge, March 2017.
• Proposals due, June 2017.
• Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission bridge contract award, July 2017.
• Open to traffic, Nov. 1, 2019.
“While the time line is tentative, one of the advantages to using a design-build process to procure and construct a major bridge is the reduction of time when compared with traditional design methods,” said MoDOT Champ Clark Bridge Project Director Keith Killen.
Killen and his project team have identified all the project goals that will be used to guide all decisions throughout procurement and contract execution.
“We are gathering survey data and other preliminary information to prepare for the procurement process” Killen said. “We are releasing some information for the design-build teams, and they can request access to this information by e-mailing Deputy Project Director Brandi Baldwin at firstname.lastname@example.org,” he added.
“MoDOT is committed to keeping people who use this bridge and area residents aware of the progress of the project,” Killen said. “You can subscribe specifically to the Champ Clark Bridge project to receive all information released to the public about maintenance of the current bridges and closures, as well as progress on the new bridge,” he said.
To subscribe, go to https://www6.modot.mo.gov/eMoDOTWeb/jsp/signon/signon.jsp, and for assistance subscribing, please call MoDOT customer service at 573-248-2490.