In the last 15 months, the Missouri Department of Transportation has made it one-fourth of the way to its goal of 802 new and improved bridges in five years.

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When the Route JJ bridge over Richland Creek in Morgan County opened recently, it was the 200th bridge completed under MoDOT’s Safe & Sound Bridge Improvement Program.

The old bridge was a steel thru-truss bridge that was 53 years old and 20 ft wide - enough for only one lane.

The new structure utilizes concrete beams covered by an asphalt driving surface and is 26 ft wide - able to accommodate two lanes. Construction began July 6 and was completed more than a week ahead of schedule.

It was also the 55th new bridge built by KTU Constructors, MoDOT’s design-build contractor who is responsible for building 554 bridges on the Safe & Sound program.

Since the first Safe & Sound bridge project was completed in April 2009, MoDOT has been reopening a new bridge every two-and-a-half days. The average bridge closure has been 40-45 days.

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