State highway officials decided Wednesday to shut down the northbound Missouri 291 bridge over the Missouri River for emergency repairs.
Missouri Department of Transportation crews found significant deterioration involving corrosion during a routine inspection, officials said.
The bridge will be closed indefinitely. Commuter frustration might prove nearly infinite.
Northbound drivers will be routed onto the southbound Missouri 291 bridge, limiting traffic to one lane in each direction.
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The 66-year-old northbound bridge carries almost 11,000 vehicles a day between Sugar Creek and River Bend. The closing will affect 22,000 motorists who travel both bridges daily.
Bridge inspectors conducting a biannual review on Tuesday discovered significant corrosion in the lower area of a truss, said Brian Kidwell, MoDOT assistant district engineer. They returned Wednesday to confirm the degree of deterioration.
“They decided the bridge needed to be taken out of service immediately,” he said
It’s uncertain how long repairs will take, said Kidwell, who added that inspectors will want to fully evaluate the entire structure.
“We believe this one spot is fixable, but we are still in the middle of the process.”