The first infrastructure project to move forward under the new federal economic stimulus package was recently announced. The project, a replacement bridge in Miller County near Tuscumbia, MO, was approved for construction as a top priority for the State of Missouri at a cost of $8.5 million, which will be funded by the stimulus plan. Because of the desire for rapid and economical construction, steel was selected for the bridge's main span.
"Today, the Show Me State again showed the nation we are leaders in transportation by having the first economic recovery act project in the country under construction," said Missouri Department of Transportation director Pete Rahn. "We promised we would be ready to go to make the best use of every dollar we receive through the economic recovery act to create jobs and make our highways safer. We delivered on that promise and then some."
The new 1,000-ft long, 28-ft-wide steel bridge will replace the existing 75-year-old Osage River Bridge, which is the same length and just 20 ft wide. The bridge crosses a Missouri River tributary near the middle of the state, where the average daily traffic is more than 1,000 cars per day. However, it has been off-limits to large trucks since 2007 because of its poor structural condition.
The new bridge, built by general contractor APAC of Kansas City, will use 395 tons of structural steel for the bridge's 570 ft main span and will be positioned just upstream from the existing bridge. The steel is scheduled to be delivered by AISC Member DeLong's, Inc. this fall. DeLong's is an AISC certified bridge fabricator.
"We're pleased to have a project so close to home – only about 35 miles from our fabricator shop – close enough for our employees to be able to see and use," said Gary Wisch, DeLong's vice president of engineering. "We're also proud to be the steel fabricator for the first project built with funds made available by the federal stimulus bill."
Roger E. Ferch, P.E. president of AISC, said, "The speed of construction and longer term benefits of flexibility and durability from using fabricated structural steel in this project provide Missouri residents with a bridge that will serve extremely well for a long time."