MARYVILLE, Mo. — Crews reopened State Highway 46 to traffic on Nov. 12 after the replacement of four bridges about 3 miles west of Maryville.

A part of Gov. Mike Parson’s $351 million Focus on Bridges program, the Missouri Department of Transportation project not only replaced the bridges, but also widened two of them from single-lane to 24-foot, two-lane crossings.

According to Resident Engineer Larry Jacobson the project completion date was originally set for Dec. 1, but thanks to scheduling help from surrounding landowners crews were able to jump to the Florida Creek and Big Slough Creek bridges a little quicker than expected.

“Boone Construction (Co. of Columbia, Missouri) they’re a pretty seasoned bridge contractor and they do quite a few bridges every year across the state,” he said. “They have multiple supervisors. … That’s how they were able to get them done a lot faster.”

He said the company had three of four different supervised crews out at the site at any given time during the project. He said three crews worked on the four bridges while a fourth dirt crew worked on sloping the ground surrounding all four creeks.

Two bridges on the west side of State Route AB were completed first in late October and reopened to local traffic.

Jacobson said there weren’t too many setbacks, and that the longest one only took a couple of days to work through.

While digging out for the Big Slough Creek Bridge, crews discovered an old wall he estimated from the 1930s, about 10 feet deep. He said they spent a day knocking it over.

“We had a couple obstructions when we went to drive piling, but it took an extra couple days, but nothing major,” he said.

Other than that, he said it’s been a pretty standard project.

Total cost of the project was originally awarded at $2,795,788, but because the site was different, Jacobson said they were able to come in under that. He didn’t have an exact amount at the time of this story.

“We try to look at the best way, once we’re on a site, to do work and if we can coordinate it we can maybe save some money in it too,” Jacobson said.

The Focus on Bridges program is set to repair or replace 250 bridges across the state.

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