The dry summer may be hard for farmers, but it is pretty good weather for contractors.
Skip Shaller, senior construction inspector for the Missouri Department of Transportation, said crews are making good progress on two bridges on either side of Carthage.
Shaller said the Missouri Highway 96 bridge over Spring River at Kellogg Lake Park is on schedule for opening at the end of October, while the northbound Missouri Highway 171 bridge over the railroad tracks between Brooklyn Heights and Carterville might be reopened as in early to mid-October.
“This dry weather has been beneficial for construction,” Shaller said. “The lower river levels have made it much easier to work on these columns because crews can get right up next to them. Also, with the lack of rain, the contractor has been out here almost every day to work on the project.”
Shaller said crews working on the Missouri 96 bridge are drilling to bedrock and pouring the concrete columns that will support the new bridge.
He said workers have drilled four of the eight columns and are in the process of drilling the other four.
He said the contract calls for finishing the bridge before Dec. 1, 2012, but the contractor is well ahead of that schedule and plans to have it open for traffic toward the end of October.
Hartman Construction, Springfield, is the contractor on the $1.4 million project.
The official detour for all traffic, including large trucks is on Missouri 571 (Garrison Avenue) to County Route E (Fairview Avenue) then Missouri 37 north to Missouri 96 in Avilla.
To the west of Carthage, crews with Pace Construction from West Plains have installed the steal beams that will support the deck of the northbound Missouri 171 bridge.
Shaller said that bridge is slated for reopening in early October.