Blanchette Bridge
12:22 pm
Fri May 17, 2013

Blanchette Bridge Will Open Three Months Early

Commuters who take Interstate 70 across the Missouri River got good news today from the Missouri Department of Transportation - the new westbound span of the Blanchette bridge will be open by August, three months ahead of schedule.

"This week, we put up the last piece of steel on the truss," said MoDOT district engineer Ed Hassinger. "So in a little over 6 months we’ve gone from demolishing the bridge to having all the steel up, and we’re actually pouring the concrete driving surface as we speak."

MoDOT and its contractor, Walsh Construction, closed the westbound span of the bridge last November for a $63 million upgrade. Work was supposed to take about a year, but Hassinger says Walsh "executed a really good plan flawlessly." The company will receive a bonus of up to $1.2 million for the early completion.

The new date means the bridge will be open in both directions in time for the Festival of the Little Hills, which Hassinger says has St. Charles mayor Sally Faith thrilled.

Follow Rachel Lippmann on Twitter: @rlippmann