As major elements of the new Grand Boulevard bridge take shape this weekend, crews say they are on pace to finish construction by Dec. 1 as planned.
The girders that will support one half of the bridge are already up on the north end. This weekend, the second half of the girders are going up on the south end, requiring the weekend closure of eastbound Interstate 670.
More work remains, but those pieces put the construction on a clear path toward completion, said Markl Johnson, a spokesman for the Missouri Department of Transportation in Kansas City.
Transportation officials closed the bridge in May after an inspection revealed cracks and falling concrete chunks. The old bridge was demolished in August, and construction of the replacement began soon after.
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“The main guts of the bridge is what they’re working on now,” Johnson said. “Once those girders are up, you’re pretty close.”
With those in place, and the columns in the center of the highway built, crews will move on to other steps in the project: connecting rebar and steel pieces, pouring the concrete bridge deck, and adding sidewalks and lighting.
The new bridge is designed with two sidewalks, including one built wide to accommodate bicycle traffic.
To make way for this weekend’s work, transportation officials announced the closure of eastbound I-670 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday.
The closure stretches from Interstate 35 to the west to Interstate 70/U.S. 71 to the east.