Well-traveled NEMO bridge re-opened to traffic - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Well-traveled NEMO bridge re-opened to traffic

Officials cut the ribbon at a ceremony Wednesday morning. Officials cut the ribbon at a ceremony Wednesday morning.
The new bridge just south of Monticello The new bridge just south of Monticello

Missouri lawmakers, along with county and Missouri Department of Transportation representatives, held a ribbon cutting for the new North Fabius Bridge in Lewis County.

An old, rusted bridge that has slowed farmers down for years has been replaced on Route 16 just south of Monticello, Missouri.

"What normally takes 3,4 or 5 minutes, it was taking us almost 30 to get along on the gravel roads," farmer Randy Rayl said. "It's so much more dangerous driving the tractors on the gravel roads because they're so big now."

The bridge was load posted for several years, meaning heavy machinery couldn't cross it. It was also narrowed to one lane traffic to keep it safe. Senator Brian Munzlinger said the bridge is a lifeline for the Ag community.

"We've got a lot of businesses and a lot of opportunities to grow, and if you don't have the good infrastructure, you won't get those jobs," Munzlinger said. "You won't get those businesses to come in."

With the harsh winters in Northeast Missouri, older bridges deteriorated fast, but MoDOT engineer Kevin James said the new bridge is better protected against the harsh winter.

"We also use epoxy coated steel that limits the corrosion and even the newer bridge is a different design," James said. "The old bridge was a truss bridge that had restrictions. With this newer style design, larger equipment can cross it without having those restrictions."

The bridge is also 8 feet wider. Just a couple miles down the road, another bridge that was on MoDOT's wish list was replaced at the same time. Rayl hope bot bridges will last for a long time.

"Evidently our money is going to a little bit of good use because they're keeping the bridges up," Rayl said. "It's looking up around here I think."

Senator Munzlinger said there are several other bridges in Northeast Missouri that are just as bad as the old bridge here. He says there will be more projects like this one in the future.

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