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MODoT testing bedrock under proposed Mississippi River Bridge

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By Adam Allington, KWMU

St. Louis, MO – Engineers for the Missouri Department of Transportation say geological conditions at the site of the new Mississippi River Bridge are perfect.

The four-lane bridge will span 1500 feet and will be held up by two piers on each side of the river.

To design those piers MODOT engineers are drilling core samples to assess the quality of the limestone buried deep beneath the riverbed.

Greg Horn is the Director of the Mississippi River Bridge Project. He says the geological testing is very positive.

"What we found is almost solid rock all the way down and that's great for a design phase, that means its less expensive to design for. So, that's a good thing for us, having solid rock," says Horn.

Randy Hitt is a Project Director for the bridge design team. He says the core sampling will take place well in advance of actual construction. At this point the bridge is still in the design phase.

"We're looking at where rock elevation is and what type of rock we have down there, if it's a good quality," says Hitt. "Also if there's any mud seems' or what we call solutioning', something that makes a cave or a big void that would cause us problems."

Construction on the project will not begin until 2010. During the interim, MODOT and IDOT will continue designing the four-lane bridge and purchasing right of way on both sides of the river.

The bridge will divert Interstate 70 one mile north of the Martin Luther King Bridge.

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