Work Scheduled To Begin On Middle Fabius River Bridge South Of Rutledge This Month
By Echo Menges
The Missouri Department of Transportation plans to close the Middle Fabius River Bridge on Route M three miles south of Rutledge on June 19, 2012. The original closure date was expected to be about a week earlier on the June 11, but because of delays the project has been pushed back about a week.
“It’s all subject to change because of the weather patters, but they’ve been pretty good about sticking to the schedule. I think a lot of it has to with the weather and where they are on the other bridges. It also has to do with material shipments, but the biggest factor is the weather,” said Martin Lincoln resident engineer for the Hannibal project office who assists with the Safe and Sound lay out. “The closure is going to be approximately 58 (working) days and it looks like it should reopen around August 8th.”
While the Route M Bridge south of Rutledge is closed MoDOT has designated a 12.6 mile detour route around the construction on State Routes V and K.
“There are a lot of local county roads that the locals will run because they know them but we can’t detour people to those roads. We can’t detour traffic onto a county road because we don’t technically own the county roads. Trucks should stay on the state highways. I can’t promise they’ll all do that, but they should,” said Lincoln.
According to Lincoln it was decided not to mark the detour route around the Route M closure. Instead MoDOT has decided to put up signs that read: Road Closed 2 Miles Ahead, on either side of the bridge.
According to information released by MoDOT the existing bridge scheduled for replacement on Route M is 58 years old. Bligh Construction out of Hannibal/Palmyra has been sub-contracted to replace the bridge. Once the project is complete the new bridge will be four feet wider than the bridge is now.
The Middle Fabius River Bridge on Route M is the sixth of seven Safe and Sound bridge replacement projects in Knox. The last project, which will be on the North Fork Fabius River Bridge on Highway 15 north of Edina, is tentatively scheduled to begin July 9, 2012 and is expected to end around August 27, 2012.
“The decision to replace state bridges (for the Safe and Sound Bridge Program) was based on a rating system we use when the bridges are inspected. It also has to do with the length and the width of the bridge to make sure it would fit within the program. All of the bridges in the program are similar in size. Part of the criteria is that they can be completed within a specific time frame,” said MoDOT representative Amy Crawford.