Just when you thought we were done with rebuilding bridges, we aren't.

Just when you thought we were done rebuilding bridges, we aren't.
The Missouri Department of Transportation said plans to rebuild the two Interstate 49 bridges over the Spring River immediately north of the Central Avenue-I-49 interchange will mean big changes to traffic in Carthage for most of 2018.
Sean Matlock, engineer with MoDOT, said the on ramp going north and off ramp coming south on the north side of the Central Avenue interchange will both be closed for the duration of the project, meaning drivers coming into Carthage from the north will have to detour through Kendricktown and Carthage.

Matlock said message boards will mark the official detour, which will include the State Highway 571 exit north of town, County Route V to the east and then Highway 171 through Carthage.
The detour is designed to keep large trucks off the old North Garrison Street bridges between Carthage and Kendricktown.
Through traffic on Interstate 49 will not have to detour, but it will be forced onto one side or the other in two-lane, head-to-head traffic on one side or the other for the duration of the project.
Matlock said traffic will be moved onto one side on cross-overs that will be built south of Central between the Oak Street overpass and the Macon Street underpass on I-49, and north of Central between Spring River and the Jackpine Road underpass.

Time and work
Matlock said the project is scheduled to begin in March after contractors bid on it in January and February.
“The notice to proceed is set for March 1, (2018) with a completion date set for Dec. 15, (2018),” Matlock said.
The work involves replacing metal parts of the bridge around the expansion joints in the bridge's surface.
Matlock said water and salt get into these expansion joints over time and causes the metal parts to deteriorate. Those bridges were built almost 40 years ago, in 1979, when the four-lane U.S. Highway 71 was built, bypassing Carthage.
The steel caps that support the bridge girders and other metal pieces in three different places on each bridge will have to be replaced.
Workers will work on one bridge while traffic is diverted to the other, then when work is finished on the first bridge, traffic will be switched over to the completed bridge.
Matlock said the work will include replacing the driving surface on both bridges.
MoDOT and the city of Carthage have reached an agreement allowing the contractor access to the bridges from city property under the bridges, near the city's waste-water treatment plant, and allowing the contractor to store material and equipment under the bridges.