MARYVILLE, Mo. — Due to structural concerns, the Long Branch Bridge east of Maryville on U.S. Highway 136 closed to traffic on Wednesday afternoon.

Contractors from Phillips Hardy, Inc., working with the Missouri Department of Transportation, closed the bridge to all traffic, according to a news release. Crews have been carefully monitoring the existing bridge during construction, and noted stress fractures in the existing bridge girders today, which prompted the immediate closure of the bridge.

MoDOT suggests drivers use the same detour route marked during the construction of the Mozingo Creek Bridge for the duration of the project, which is scheduled through August 2022. Motorists will be directed along a signed detour on Routes F, N, M and J.

The Long Branch and Mozingo bridges, located east of Maryville, were last rehabilitated in 1940. The replacement project will bring both bridge structures and surrounding guardrail up to current standards. These bridges are included in Gov. Mike Parson’s $351 million Focus on Bridges program, which will repair or replace 250 bridges across the state.

For more information, visit the project webpage. There visitors will find project information, video from the project manager, detour route plans, and a way to sign up for project-specific email updates.