Missouri highway officials promise that a two-year project to replace Interstate 70 bridges over Manchester Trafficway will cause as little disruption as possible.
There will be no lane closures during peak weekday periods and only minimal closures during weekends under a contract awarded Tuesday to the team of Clarkson Construction Co. and HNTB.
The bridges will be built next to the existing bridges. Construction is to begin in January and be completed by the end of 2015.
The $63.8 million design-build contract is similar to the one that built the Christopher Bond Bridge and will give the public the best value for the money, Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission chairman Joe Carmichael said in a statement announcing the contract.
The work will replace the decades-old bridges over Manchester, the Blue River and several railroad tracks. The Missouri Department of Transportation says the bridges were among the earliest pieces of interstate construction in western Missouri. They now carry about 100,000 vehicles a day, at least 15 percent of them trucks.
The bridges had extensive work done in 2008, including replacement of expansion joints, patching of the decks and new surfaces. But the new concrete overlay did not bond correctly with the existing deck, which led it to break and require frequent repairs. MoDOT said the best long-term solution was to replace the bridges altogether.
The new bridges will be wider, with four lanes in each direction instead of three. The interchange with I-70 and Manchester will remain.
The contract also includes a new bridge on U.S. 40 over the Blue River that will improve access for trucks into the Blue Valley Industrial District. It also will include a shoulder and a bike path. The project will require U.S. 40 to be closed for 100 days.