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Interviews

Old Bridge, New Bridge: The Why, What, Where, and When?

We are creatures of habit and our first reaction to change is to resist it. Such is the case with the new bridge. The opinions on it are very diverse, and every time I post a picture on Facebook of the existing bridge, people nostalgically say that they will miss its iconic structure. The good news is that it will be there for at least 6 more years, which will give us plenty of time to take all the pictures we want of it. And what is more, the new bridge will have a pedestrian lane and an outlook, from where we will be able to take pictures of the Washington skyline!

To shed more light on why it’s necessary to build a new bridge and how come it cannot “look as pretty as the old one”, Judy Wagner, the
Area Engineer for Franklin and Jefferson Counties for MODOT, agreed to do online interview with Re-Discover Washington.

This is what the new bridge will look like - clean, stylish and sturdy!

This is what the new bridge will look like: clean, stylish and sturdy! The proposed designs are without, with one, or with three overhead elements.

Why is the new bridge necessary? The existing bridge was constructed in the 1930’s and has exceeded its life expectancy.  As you can see from some photos on our website the bridge has significant amount of rust on most of the structural members.

Once upon a time the old bridge was new. However, now it needs to be replaced because of its deteriorating condition.

Once upon a time the old bridge was new. However, now it needs to be replaced because of its deteriorating condition.

Who came up with the new bridge design? MoDOT and our Consultant, HDR Engineering.

Wouldn't it be cool to have a Katy Trail connection through the bridge, and to be able to walk on it?

Wouldn’t it be cool to have a Katy Trail connection through the bridge, and to be able to walk on it?

When is the new bridge project supposed to start and how long is it estimated to take? Currently we are scheduled to open bids in September 2016.  The new bridge should open to traffic in late 2018 and the old one removed in 2019.

If everything goes according to plan, we still have plenty of time to enjoy the old structure.

If everything goes according to plan, we still have plenty of time to enjoy the current bridge structure.

Where will the new bridge be located?  Just west of the existing structure.
What will happen to the existing bridge?  It will be dismantled and recycled.

The bridge will look pretty at night.

The bridge will look pretty at night.

What is the estimated life of the new bridge? The normal life of a new bridge is expected to last almost 100 years.

Why the new bridge design does not include decorative metal structure? The existing bridge is a Warren Truss structure, the members you see are all a structural component to the bridge.  Today it is much more economical to build a simple girder structure.  The new type has all of the structural components under the driving surface.

Each overhead element costs $225,000. So, it depends on the budget whether there will be one or three.

Each overhead element costs $225,000. So, it depends on the budget whether there will be one or three.

What are some of the benefits of the new bridge? Wider lanes and ten foot shoulders.  It will also include a 10 ft. bike and pedestrian protected from the vehicular traffic.

We will get a new bridge whether we like it or not, so instead of looking back we can look ahead and we excited for all the new things it will bring: wider lanes, connection to the Katy Trail, nice pedestrian lane and most importantly, safety.

We will get a new bridge whether we like it or not, so instead of looking back we can look ahead and get excited for all the new things it will bring: wider lanes, connection to the Katy Trail, nice pedestrian lane and most importantly, safety. Oh, and we will watch the old bridge being demolished and take pictures of that. Admit it, you find that exciting.

For more information on the new bridge, click here.

About Slava

I am a twenty-something Bulgarian girl in the USA, re-discovering the world through the lens.

Discussion

2 Responses to “Old Bridge, New Bridge: The Why, What, Where, and When?”

  1. the man who drew up the blue prints for the current bridge was my mom’s great grandpa … or maybe it’s great-great grandpa…not sure which 🙂

    Posted by gussie | August 4, 2013, 8:55 pm

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