MHTD expects no problem with bridges

Greg Sauer, right, discusses the floods that caused thousands of dollars damage to his riverfront home with Congressman Dick Gephardt. Photo by Bill Milligan.

By Bill Milligan
News Editor

State highway inspectors say they expect no threat to safety, or damage to bridges along the Meramec River once flooding subsides.

Despite having been underwater and collecting debris along their superstructures throughout the month of July, Missouri Highway and Transportation maintenance engineer Curt Stevenson said bridges like the Telegraph Road bridge along the Meramec could re-open the same day their road decks are inspected.

The state has one bridge inspector, and inspections take about and hour, Stevenson said.

He said the Lemay Ferry bridge will not be inspected because it was not submerged.

Prior to the July floods, bridges along the Meramec, like the Telegraph and old Gravois structures, had been identified as dangerous by MHTD due to its crumbling concrete and exposed metal reinforcements.

Voters approved funding for the replacement of the Telegraph Road bridge in 1987, but as yet, MHTD has kept the money in a bank account.

The bridge has been of concern to some people, including Rep. Zane Yates, R-Oakville, who July 9 called fora detailed study of the bridge prior to reopening it for use by the traveling public.

Congressman Richard Gephardt, D-Concord, inspected the bridge last week.

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