Archive for Sunday, January 26, 2003

Paseo Bridge may remain closed up to two weeks

January 26, 2003


— The Paseo Bridge may remain closed longer than had been expected after inspectors found more damage on the structure.

An inspection Friday of all four corners of the bridge revealed a crack in a metal plate that connects the bridge girder to the bridge pier. The bridge deck sits atop the girder.

Earlier this week, police closed the 49-year-old span after a fractured metal plate on the structure's southeast corner caused one section of the bridge to rise about 9 inches above another section.

On Friday, Missouri Department of Transportation officials decided it would be more efficient to hire outside help for the repairs, said Joel Blobaum, a department spokesman.

"If we try to do all of this ourselves, we would have to pull in crews from all over the state," Blobaum said. "We thought we could get the repairs done faster if we put it out to contract."

It is unclear how long all the repairs will take, said Beth Wright, an assistant district engineer with the Transportation Department.

"We're saying one to two weeks for now, but you never know until you start taking things apart," she said. "But we will only open the bridge when we believe it's 100 percent safe."

An estimated 94,000 vehicles each day cross the bridge that connects downtown Kansas City to northern Kansas City and its suburbs.

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