What it is
The new Highway 5 bridge over the Osage Arm of the Lake of the Ozarks at the 35 mile marker is being built less than five feet to the east of the existing Hurricane Deck Bridge. For $32.3 million from the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT), the American Bridge Company, Inc. of Overland Park, Kan. is constructing a new crossing that will be 38 feet wide to accommodate two 12-foot driving lanes with seven-foot shoulders on each side and room for a protected sidewalk in the future if desired. Work on the project began in May 2012. The plate girder structure of the new bridge has a lower vertical curve than the deck truss structure of the existing crossing. With less arch, drivers will be able to see all the way across the bridge from each end. The new bridge is the last of the major crossings in the lake area to be replaced in the past two decades. MoDOT has replaced the bridge on Highway 54 across the Grand Glaize Arm of the Lake and bridges across the Niangua on Highways 54 and 5. They also worked in a local partnership to build the Lake of the Ozarks Community Bridge on Route 242 and MM. MoDOT has invested well over $100 million in bridges in the lake area since the 1990s, according to District Engineer Bob Lynch.
On Tuesday morning, construction workers poured the final section of the bridge deck. Workers started attaching reinforcing steel to girders spanning the new piers and pouring concrete into 100-200 foot sections to form the bridge deck this spring. There is over 10,000 cubic yards of concrete in the entire structure, according to MoDOT resident engineer and project inspector John Sanders, and 1.75 million pounds of steel rebar in the concrete deck and substructure. The steel girders holding up the deck weigh in at 4.2 million pounds. Mass grading for the new road alignment to tie into the new crossing has been completed as well. Overall, more than 21,000 cubic yards of rock and dirt has been excavated to construct the new bridge and alignment. When the concrete work on the bridge deck got underway this spring, it was estimated that it would take most of the summer to complete. With the final section poured July 16, the project is on track to be completed before the contractual obligation date of Dec. 6, 2013.
Workers are now installing expansion joints in the deck to allow for expansion and contraction with changing temperatures. Additional small concrete pours will then close those spots, American Bridge Company Vice President Scott Gammon said. The parapet on the bridge will be installed once that is completed. Once finish grading is complete on the roadway tie-in, the asphalt paving will be done. No definite date to open the bridge has been set, but construction is on track right now to be completed around Labor Day, Gammon said. No significant traffic delays are anticipated in the last portion of construction, Sanders said. Some lane drops may occur. The crossing should only be closed temporarily as traffic is switched from the existing bridge to the new alignment on the day that it occurs. Gammon estimated it would then take around four months to take down the old bridge depending on weather and lake levels. Once the old bridge is closed and traffic rerouted on the new alignment, workers will strip the deck down to the trusses. With the deck gone and trusses slimmed down, the company will load and shoot the old bridge with explosives, then pick the pieces out of the lake with cranes. The demolition is scheduled to occur in spring 2014. While the original design bid out by MoDOT included using the old piers and rolling the new bridge over, the American Bridge Company bid a different design with new piers on a new alignment. With a slightly shorter span, the savings in steel made it the low bid.