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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Missouri Department of Transportation closed all lanes of westbound Interstate 470 at Interstate 435 on Wednesday for urgent bridge repairs, leading to a chaotic commute near the Grandview Triangle.

MoDOT told FOX4 that a bridge joint failed Tuesday, and the department had to close down lanes to make those emergency repairs. The bridge joint caught their attention before it failed.

“So the cover plate basically covers the expansion joint on the bridge. It’s held together with welds and surrounded by concrete. So the concrete deteriorated around it, some of the welds broke loose. And eventually the that cover plate broke off,” Matt Killion, MoDOT assistant district engineer, described.

While the major bridge repairs were done Wednesday afternoon, MoDOT said it will have to revisit that stretch of I-435 in the near future.

“This was just kind of the removal of that plate and that goes over the expansion joint, we will need to come back out and make longer term repairs to that bridge joint,” Killion said.

“So we’ll be able to do that in a more controlled fashion where we won’t have to close as many lanes down as we are today.”

Across Missouri, MoDOT is responsible for the inspection and maintenance of 10,000 bridges.
Working for you, FOX4 asked how often bridges and ramps are inspected.

“We inspect every bridge every two years. For bridges that are in poor condition, we inspect those more often. As well as our major river bridges and major river crossings, we’ll inspect those every year, at a minimum,” Killion said.

Last October, the state approved a gas tax increase of 2.5 cents per year through 2025, raising the tax in 2022 to 19.5 cents per gallon. Those tax dollars are targeted for infrastructure improvements, and MoDOT said the money is already making a difference.  

“We’re working on delivering a record program with that additional funding. So yes, definitely helps toward making ground and improving our bridge conditions statewide,” Killion said.

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