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.
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.
Who came up with the new bridge design? MoDOT and our Consultant, HDR Engineering.
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.
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.
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.
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.
For more information on the new bridge, click here.