MoDOT dispels Aurora railroad overpass rumors

Steve Chapman

An engineer with the Missouri Department of Transportation stated that a rumor surrounding a delay in the construction of a railroad overpass on Highway 39 just north of Aurora is simply a case of false information. Professional Engineer Beth Schaller said there is no truth to the rumor which purports that one end of the bridge is two feet higher than the other.
“We’ve been hearing several rumors ourselves on this project,” Schaller said. “The bridge construction has not been delayed due to the work being built to the wrong elevation. We did have an error in our plans, but we have confirmed that the bridge still meets all the height requirements to safely clear the railroad tracks. So, the existing construction is correct and does not need to be changed.”
Schaller also said the construction delay is due to the approval process for construction of the bridge, which is taking longer than expected.
“Work has temporarily been suspended while the railroad, BNSF, reviews submittals from the contractor, Hartman & Company,” she said. “The railroad requires the bridge contractor to submit several plans for their approval prior to beginning work over and near the tracks. These include plans for lifting beams and materials safely into place over the tracks as well as a shoring and forming plans for excavating and constructing bridge columns and footings near the tracks. Since these are all construction methods that are determined by the contractor, MoDOT can’t get the approvals early in the process. These plans have to be supplied by the contractor to the railroad for approval.”
It is uncertain when construction will continue.
“We have been monitoring the process, but we do not have a timeline for when final approvals will be achieved,” Schaller said.


Lawrence County Record

312 S. Hickory St.
Mt. Vernon, MO, 65712


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