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SIKESTON-Work to replace the Route 76 bridge over Beaver Creek in Douglas County will begin Monday, Aug. 15, weather permitting. This will be the first bridge in Missouri replaced using hybrid composite beams.
The beams are made of fiberglass and foam-materials that are also used to construct boats and sulfuric acid storage tanks. An archway within the beams gives the contractor flexibility to pre-fill the beams with concrete or fill in place.
“The innovative use of materials creates beams that are both durable and lightweight,” said MoDOT Structural Liaison Engineer Stacy McMillan.
He explained the beams will not corrode like traditional steel beams. Additionally, the lightweight beams save on shipping costs.
“It takes two trucks instead of the usual 15 to transport the beams,” said McMillan. “Even once the beams are filled with concrete, they weigh about half as much as typical concrete I-girders.”
As construction is under way, the Route 76 bridge will remain closed. Signs and warning devices will be in place. Completion is anticipated in late September.
Improvements to the bridge, west on Highway 76 between Ava and Goodhope, will be completed as part of the Safe & Sound Bridge Improvement Program. The program will repair or replace over 800 of the state’s lowest-rated bridges by winter 2013.
The Route 76 bridge is the first of three Safe & Sound bridges to be replaced using hybrid composite beams. Bridges in Shannon and Dade counties are also scheduled to use this technology. The projects were made possible through a $1 million Highways for Life grant from the Federal Highway Administration.