Major bridge closed to trucks in Kansas City , MO , after cracks found

| Thursday, January 12, 2006

The Fairfax Bridge , which carries southbound Route 69 from Missouri into Kansas , has been restricted to vehicles weighing 10 tons or less. During routine inspections the Missouri DOT found splice plates on lower sections of a truss had developed cracks.

Southbound truck traffic headed for the Fairfax industrial district in Kansas City , Kan. , is being diverted to the nearby Interstate 635 Bridge and then east on Kansas Route 5. Electronic message boards were being placed Thursday afternoon to divert southbound truck traffic away from the bridge, which carries about 7,500 vehicles per day.

“In addition to diverting heavy-truck traffic away from the structure, our Motor Carrier Services unit will reroute any overweight and overdimension traffic around the bridge,” said Chris Redline, Assistant District Engineer in Kansas City , MO , in a written statement.

“Although we are taking this precautionary step, the bridge remains open and safe for regular passenger vehicle traffic. We will continue to monitor the structure for any change in condition while we develop and implement a repair strategy.”

Redline said MoDOT will develop a comprehensive repair plan for the 72-year-old bridge.

“The repairs pose a challenge because they involve the lower chord of a large truss that’s a significant distance from the ground,” Redline said. “Before the splice plates can be removed and replaced, we’ll need to develop a way to transfer and carry the load while the plates are off.”

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