KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Drivers should expect slowdowns across the Broadway Bridge this week, as the Missouri Department of Transportation shuts down lanes to inspect the crossing.
Every bridge in the “Show Me State” is inspected every other year. And after spotting some significant corrosion on the Broadway Bridge two years ago, engineers are holding their breath hoping the crossing hasn’t gotten a lot worse.
“Inspectors are required to be within arm’s reach of every component, every joint everything on that bridge,” said Brian Kidwell, assistant district engineer for MoDOT. “It’s a very thorough inspection. They are up close, taking pictures, they are taking measurements. At the end of it that will be analyzed to see what kind of loads it can carry.”
More than 60,000 vehicles a day use the Broadway Bridge. The span is 60 years old, and MoDOT says it needs to be replaced soon. Building a new bridge is expected to cost $100 million, which is money the state simply doesn’t have.
“The problem with the Broadway is that it’s not on our primary system, which is really the system that connects Missouri,” Kidwell said. “It’s more of a local connector route. So if we find significant issues right now we’re not in a position to spend any construction funding putting that bridge back together.”
Already this year bridge inspections have shut down the northbound 291 Highway, River Bridge and the I-70 ramp to southbound I-35.
If inspectors find problems with the bridge that can be repaired, the fix will be designed and implemented immediately.