$1.5 million Route T bridge replacement project begins this week

Dave Marner
Managing Editor

A St. Louis construction firm was expected to begin work at 6 a.m. today (July 10) replacing the 1958 Route T bridge over the Bourbeuse River in a $1.5 million project which will close the roadway south of the Tea community for up to 126 days.

Detours are in place beginning this week as KCI Construction, Co., begins dismantling the 405-foot long  pony truss bridge over the Bourbeuse. The existing bridge has a width of 20 feet and the new structure will be 24 feet wide.

The bridge carries an average daily traffic count of 278 vehicles, according to Missouri Department of Transportation statistics recorded in 2016.

The overall condition of the bridge during a 2016 inspection was rated as “Poor,” according to the website Bridgehunter.com.

The superstructure condition was rated “Fair” and the deck condition rating was listed as “Serious.”

The report listed a “sufficiency rating” of only 21.3 points out of a possible 100.

KCI was awarded a contract by the Missouri Transportation Commission in June worth $1,516,564.90. The award was based on the low bid to specification and came in below project estimates of $1,818,000.

KCI was one of seven firms submitting bids for the project. The second-lowest bid was from Roberston Contractors, Inc., for $1,535,093.40. The highest bid was for $1,742,000.

The new bridge will be 420 feet long and roadway improvements are planned for 220 feet north of the structure and 210 feet to the south.

Motorists traveling south of Tea on Route T will take Route V west to Highway 19 and then go south to Hog Trough Road. At Herbert Road, motorists will turn left on Herbert Road to return to Route T.  The detour is reversed for those traveling north on T who are coming from south of the Bourbeuse.

The closure is expected to continue until Dec. 1. 

“The bridge will be closed to traffic while work takes place,” according to MoDOT. “Message boards are up in the area to inform drivers of the bridge closure. Drivers are asked to seek alternate routes around the construction.”