After only about 100 days of construction, one of two bridges being replaced on the east side of Carthage will reopen for traffic.

After only about 100 days of construction, one of two bridges being replaced on the east side of Carthage will reopen for traffic.
Ethan McPeak, construction inspector on the Missouri Highway 96 bridge replacement project with the Missouri Department of Transportation, said the floodway bridge next to Kellogg Lake Park will reopen to traffic at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, just in time for Kids Fishing Day this Saturday.
“The road was closed there at the end of February and Clarkson, they were able to use their forces to expedite the process,” McPeak said. “The substructure units went up pretty quick, everything got out of the ground good before the rains hit this Spring, which helped them out a lot. They just put plenty of guys out on the job and always had people here to be working all the time.”
McPeak said the heavy rains that hit in late April and into May put a lot of water into the park, but it didn't affect construction that much.
“It mainly affected the dirt work, all the structure was out of the ground so it didn't affect the actual bridge itself,” McPeak said. “The water was about five feet away from the bottom of the girders at its highest point. But really, as far as the bridge goes, it didn't hurt too bad.”

Business impact
Andrew Johnson, an employee at Bud's Bait, on Highway 96 between Spring River and the railroad viaduct, said it will be good for that business to get the overflow bridge open again.
“It's been a little bit of an inconvenience, but not terrible,” Johnson said. “Once they had to close the park after the floods, that's when we really felt it. We're excited to get it opened in time for Kids Fishing Day.”
David Shumaker, owner of Bud's Bait, donates thousands of worms that kids use as bait at the annual fishing event, slated for this Saturday morning at Kellogg Lake Park.
He said he understands why the city had to close the park roads a few weeks ago.
“They just couldn't keep the highway traffic out of the park,” Shumaker said. “I understand that and there's no hard feelings, but we definitely noticed a slowdown. We're very pleased with how quickly the contractor is working on those bridges.”

Railroad viaduct
Progress is moving more slowly on the new railroad viaduct, but McPeak said that bridge is taking shape as well.
He said the contractor will be ready to pour the concrete deck next week.
McPeak said unexpected problems with the ground under the bridge slowed the work and required redesigning of one of the support piers.
McPeak said the railroad viaduct should be open for traffic sometime before the scheduled completion date of Sept. 15.