MoDOT rejects bridge repair contract

bbashioum@demo-mo.comMarch 7, 2014 

The “bridge with no exits” between Harrisonville and Peculiar on Interstate 49 will be closed longer than originally expected.

The bridge, which connects Rockhaven Road with Peculiar Drive over I-49 northwest of Harrisonville, was closed Dec. 10, 2013, following a routine inspection that showed continued deterioration of a structural element.

Missouri Department of Transportation officials decided close the bridge until permanent repairs could be completed.

In January, MoDOT crews estimated that they could reopen the bridge no later than Tuesday, July 1. However, on March 5, the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission rejected the sole bid MoDOT received for the repairs.

MoDOT spokesman Steve Porter said the bid, received from Phillips Hardy, Inc., was far higher than MoDOT’s highest estimate for the work.

The rejected contract sought expedited work, which placed a tight deadline to order and fabricate materials needed for this job, a factor in the higher bid price from the sole bidder.

Porter said MoDOT will quickly re-let this contract, hoping that changes giving the contractor more time to fabricate materials and complete the work will result in multiple, competitive bids.

Bids will be opened in mid-April. If a successful bid is chosen, work can begin by May, with completion expected to be done by October.

According to MoDOT, the initial inspection convinced engineers that no safe temporary repair could be made to open the bridge.

The bridge had been scheduled for rehabilitation and deck replacement in 2016, but MoDOT decided to accelerate the previously scheduled deck replacement and structural repairs and reopen the bridge as soon as possible.

Local access remains available by way of Peculiar Drive from the north and Rockhaven Road from the south.

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