Highway 76 bridge project underway near Cape Fair

The plan was to only close the Highway 76 Bridge near Cape Fair at night, but there were some hiccups this week.
Published: Sep. 17, 2020 at 4:12 PM CDT
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CAPE FAIR, Mo. (KY3) - A big bridge project is underway in Stone County. The plan was to only close the Highway 76 Bridge near Cape Fair at night, but there were some hiccups this week.

More than 4,000 cars and trucks go across the bridge every day.

“It’s a very busy area during the summertime,” MoDot Engineer Johnny Teegardin said. “We tried to schedule [the work] for the minimum amount of time, so we don’t have near the impacts.”

Teegardin says construction crews typically work 6 p.m. to 6 a.m., but on Tuesday, they had to close the bridge for much of the day.

“They built a lot of it out of creek rock. The creek rock is very hard. We weren’t expecting that. So, it was a challenge to get the bridge, basically, cut into pieces so we could lift out panels,” Teegardin said.

Teegardin says the construction contractor is back on schedule now, but that doesn’t mean problems won’t pop up when working on a 63 year old bridge.

“Sometimes we get caught by things you just don’t know on a bridge this old to make it right,” Teegardin said.

Meanwhile, school districts and emergency crews in the are prepared for nighttime closures as well as possible additional daytime closures.

“We can’t plan on if something is going to happen, it’s when it’s going to happen,” Southern Stone County Fire Protection District Public Information Officer Eric Nielsen said.

Nielsen says neighboring departments are ready to help respond on either side of the bridge.

“Just like yesterday, we had a call in Cape Fair for a brush fire,” Nielsen said.

He says it’s times like this when those partnerships are key.

“We are always ready. This is not the first time we have had bridges worked on in our county. Recently, Long Creek Bridge in Taney County, which at that point affected Taney County’s response. So, we were there for them. The same in Kimberling City,” Nielsen said.

MoDot says it will have to do a two-day around the clock closure about mid-October. You can follow that project and updates by clicking here.

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