Better late than never?

Better late than never?

The bridge over Beaver Creek on County Road 5240 south of Rolla opened to traffic late last week after being closed since September 2012.

The bridge was expected to be completed and open by November 2012, but a higher than anticipated slope was noticed and work had to be stopped until a fix could be agreed upon. Crews with Brenneke Construction, LLC, the general contractor on the project, were asked to repour the center pier cap to address the slope.

The slope was caused when Brenneke crews used Great River Associates’ plans, which had a discrepancy in the elevations and dimensions. Some other issues also arose on the project, including questions about the strength of the concrete used on the structure.

Guardrails have been installed and the contractor will still need to do some seeding work around the bridge.

Crews with the Phelps County Highway Department were placing rock on the approaches to the bridge Monday afternoon.

“We appreciate everyone’s patience and understanding,” said Jason Murphey, project manager with Great River Associates, during a county commission meeting April 18.

“We wanted to put a quality product in place and actions have been taken that have ensured that for the county,” Murphey said.

County Road 5240 is a connector between U.S. Route 63 and State Route O.

Brenneke was initially awarded the project on a base bid of $299,401 late last year. The cost to fix the center pier was estimated to cost more than $24,500, which will be shared by Brenneke and Great River Associates. Neither the Missouri Department of Transportation nor the county will be responsible for the repair costs.

The second lowest bid received out of nine for the bridge replacement project was submitted by Boone Construction Company for $322,893.40, meaning the current cost for the project is already above what the second lowest bid was.

The engineer's estimate for the project was $390,117.86.