Sedalia’s Washington Street Bridge, which has been closed for repairs since Dec. 6, 2011, has officially reopened.
The 102-year-old structure was deemed unsafe by city engineers at that time and closed to traffic.
“We were very fortunate that Council saw fit in fiscal year 2013 to able to fund repairing the bridge to bring it back to life for the City of Sedalia,” commented Mayor Elaine Horn during a 10-minute ceremony held Thursday afternoon on the bridge, which now has concrete deck and a safe, wooden walkway for pedestrians.
Numerous city officials were joined by several area residents to witness the red ribbon-cutting ceremony held at 1 p.m. on Sept. 26.
Olsson and Associates of Overland Park, Kan., designed the modifications for the new bridge. In March of 2012, the City Council approved a $34,200 proposal from Olsson for the Washington Street Bridge rehab.
Olsson Vice President Michael Lally noted that the bridge dedication is one of the special days his firm always looks forward to. “It’s great to see the studies, the plans and the (blueprints) come to life. We realize how important this project was to the community; we know there was some hardship involved in closing down the bridge. So hopefully, this will be a very happy day and many more happy days will occur,” Lally said. He told Mayor Horn and City Council members attending the ceremony that the project has been incredibly rewarding.
“All the corroded steel has been replaced with new steel and replaced the asphalt deck with a concrete deck, which is more impervious to salts and penetration of those salts,” noted Ken Jennison, senior engineer for Olsson and Associates. He added that the improvements to extend the life of the bridge at least another 30 to 40 years.
“With the improvements that have been made here, that’s easily obtainable,” Jennison said.
Renovation work on the Washington Street Bridge was handled by L.F. Krupp Construction, Inc.
When the Washington Street Bridge Project was approved by the Sedalia City Council in January, a total project cost of $1,144,064 was set.
To date, the City of Sedalia has paid in a total of $913,628.30 towards the project, which accounts for the majority of the materials needed for the project, it was reported.
The Sedalia Fire Department was the first to ceremonially cross the bridge once it was opened. Easy access to the north part of Sedalia by emergency personnel were a major concern of residents during the time the bridge was closed.
The public was first notified that serious repair work was needed on the bridge in mid-September of 2011. Later, the bridge was closed for a week for repairs during the first week of November, 2011. Finally, Sedalia officials closed Washington Street Bridge indefinitely on Dec. 6, 2011, after a comprehensive review by Olsson and Associates, the city’s engineering firm. Photos by Randy Kirby, Sedalia News Journal.