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December 05, 2014 01:09 PM
Restrictions Placed on Missouri Route 16 Bridges near Monticello in Lewis County

HANNIBAL - The North Fabius River Bridge on Missouri Route 16 just west of Monticello has been reduced to a one lane bridge with temporary signals in place. Just down the road, the bridge over the Middle Fabius River also on MO 16 has been load posted with a restriction of 15 mph for any trucks over 21 tons.

During an inspection, MoDOT officials found structural deficiencies in these bridges. "It is critical that vehicles travel slowly over these bridges," said MoDOT District Engineer Paula Gough. "Compliance with these restrictions is necessary to keep all travelers safe and allow the bridge to stay open to traffic," she added.

Lighted message boards and other signs are in place to alert motorists of these changes. In addition to the weight limit on the Middle Fabius Bridge, all overweight, over-dimension permit traffic are permanently restricted.  A graphic showing examples of vehicles and their tonnage is attached. The graphic does not include farm equipment, yet these are included in the restrictions. Motorists are encouraged to know the weight of their vehicles and equipment and to comply with the restrictions.

These two bridges are 84 years old. However, the average Missouri bridge is 46 years old, but most were designed for a 50-year life. "Our engineers are evaluating what, if anything, can be done to repair these bridges to lift the restrictions," Gough explained, "But, there are many bridges all over the state in need of attention," she said, and added there is a significant lack of funding for transportation infrastructure not only in Missouri, but across the country.

The majority of bridges in northeast Missouri are routinely inspected late fall and winter. "We still have more than 100 bridges to be inspected in northeast Missouri, and will continue to take whatever actions are necessary to keep motorists safe," Gough explained. "We will keep local officials, schools and area residents informed of what decisions are made about these bridges," she said.

For more information on the bridge restrictions and closures around the state, you can visit our website at http://www.modot.org/Bridges/. If you have questions, please call MoDOT's toll-free customer service number at 1-888 ASK MODOT (275-6636).

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