MoDOT expected to open westbound Rocheport Bridge by mid-June
The westbound Rocheport Bridge on Interstate 70 will be open for drivers by the middle of June, according to an update from the Missouri Department of Transportation.
MoDOT announced the news in its monthly Superintendent Talk, which provides regular updates on the bridge construction project. That project began in late 2021 and remains on schedule to be finished in December 2024.
Once the project is completed, two bridges will stretch across the Missouri River at Rocheport, adding a lane in each direction to increase safety for drivers.
Andrew Bertels, construction inspector for MoDOT, said the westbound bridge will open when workers finish pouring the road surface. Eastbound drivers will continue to use the existing bridge until workers can divert the flow of traffic onto the new westbound bridge.
The projected completion of the eastbound bridge in December 2024 will mark the end of the three-year project.
MoDOT does not expect any major problems with constructing the eastbound bridge, as it did not experience any with the westbound bridge.
Cordell Lenz is a field engineer from Lunda Construction, which is helping to build the bridges. Lenz said the only problem was fluctuating river levels. This did not slow down the project but posed an obstacle that construction crews did not expect.
Low water levels make it difficult to move the barges, which hold the cranes and other equipment workers use to build the bottom of the bridge. If the water level is low, workers have to artificially extend the land surface with gravel to continue working.
The Katy Trail runs underneath the Rocheport Bridge, but MoDOT has built a barrier along the trail so it can remain open and safe to use.
Also at the talk, MoDOT announced it will close a small stretch of I-70 near Les Bourgeois Vineyards from 7 p.m. June 9 to 5 a.m. June 12. During this time, drivers will have to exit at Route BB, then re-enter the highway shortly after.
The Route BB interchange is expected to be completed by late fall 2023. The interchange and construction of the Rocheport Bridge are included in the same contract.