State and local officials cut the ribbon on the new Hurricane Deck Bridge Saturday morning. The historic occasion was witnessed by a host of onlookers who got to walk along the new bridge prior to the ceremony.
Located on the south end of Sunrise Beach, the bridge will carry Highway 5 traffic across the Osage Arm of the Lake of the Ozarks at the 35 mile marker.
The new crossing is expected to open in the late evening on Monday, Sept. 9.
The old bridge will be closed at that time and preparation for its demolition will begin this week. Final demolition is scheduled to take place in the spring of 2014.
Special guests and speakers at the ribbon cutting ceremony included Missouri Department of Transportation Central District Engineer David Silvester, MoDOT Director Dave Nichols, Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission member Gregg Smith, State Rep. Rocky Miller, State Rep. Diane Franklin, Camden County Presiding Commissioner Kris Franken, Village of Sunrise Beach Board of Trustee Chair Curt Mooney, American Bridge Company Vice President Scott Gammon, Parsons Corporation Senior Vice President TAG Goodwin and Lake West Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Mike Kenagy.
Smith presented the dedication plaque for the old bridge to Daphne Jeffries for the Camden County Historical Society.
The new bridge replaces the old truss arch bridge which has been a landmark at the Lake of the Ozarks since it opened Dec. 28, 1936 and was officially dedicated Oct. 3, 1937.
The American Institute of Steel Construction named the original bridge as the most beautiful steel span built in 1936.
The old bridge was originally a toll crossing that cost 40 cents for a car and driver and 5 cents for each additional passenger — or a dime for a round trip toll.
Prior to the old bridge, cars and people were moved across the lake by ferry.
Sunrise Beach Fire Protection District provided a water cannon salute and fireworks sounded as the ribbon was cut by Franklin and Miller.
Speakers praised the hard work of the American Bridge Company in getting the project completed three months ahead of schedule after construction got underway in May 2012. Parsons Corporation was also a consultant on the project.
A toast was raised in commemorative hurricane-style glasses in honor of the old bridge, the new bridge and to safe journeys.
The new bridge is a safety improvement as the old crossing was considered structurally deficient and had rusting issues. The new bridge is also wider providing more space on the shoulders.
Drilled shafts and rock sockets, ranging from a few feet long to 100 feet long, hold up the new bridge.
The bridge cost $32.3 million and is the last major bridge that will be built in the Lake area for some time to come.
Page 2 of 2 - In the last couple of 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.
The old bridge was the last of three truss arch bridges at the lake to be replaced.
MoDOT has invested roughly $100 million in bridge work in the region over the last 20 years along with $300 million in road work.