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Flooding slows construction of Mississippi River bridge

By Adam Allington, St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis – Engineers say flooding is hampering construction of the new Mississippi River Bridge.

High water has delayed drilling for the bridge's mid-span columns by six weeks.

Project Manager Greg Horn with the Missouri Department of Transportation said the piers are the most complex part of the bridge's construction, but he expects drilling to be completed sometime next month.

"From the very beginning we anticipated that there would be so many flood days over the four-year period," Horn said. "But, its using a lot of those up right at the very beginning. So, we haven't pushed anything back yet, because we anticipated some, but there's more now than is normal, so hopefully if it doesn't flood anymore we'll be on track."

Horn said contractors have been able to keep busy with other projects such as building the bridge approaches on both sides of the river.

The bridge is scheduled to open to traffic in 2014.

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