Preliminary work on the Missouri Highway 43, Big Lost Creek Bridge in Seneca is set to begin Monday, according to a press release from the Missouri Department of Transportation.


Preliminary work on the Missouri Highway 43, Big Lost Creek Bridge in Seneca is set to begin Monday, according to a press release from the Missouri Department of Transportation.

The preliminary work, which includes the installation of bridge pilings and bridge footings, is not expected to have an impact on Highway 43 traffic, at least for the first several weeks. The mid-February work is phase one in a two-part replacement of the 82-year-old bridge. Though phase one will not interrupt traffic, some parking spots along Cherokee Ave. in Seneca may be blocked with equipment.

Phase two, which consists of the full replacement of the bridge, is expected to begin in early to mid-March, and will shut down the route near the bridge. MoDOT has not yet announced an exact closing date.

The official detour for Highway 43 traffic will be signed along U.S. 60, Oklahoma State Route 10, and Oklahoma State Route 10C, though local traffic may use nearby city streets and county roads to navigate around the closing.

The bridge replacement is tentatively scheduled to be completed and the bridge open to traffic by mid-April.

The Big Lost Creek Bridge replacement is part of MoDOT’s Safe and Sound Bridge Improvement program, which is set to improve or replace 802 bridges by the end of 2013. The Big Lost Creek Bridge replacement is being spearheaded by KTU Constructors, who are replacing 554 of the 802 bridges in the program.

Four bridges in Newton County have already been replaced as part of the program. Those include Missouri Highway 37 at Wentworth Hollow, Route W at Shoal Creek, Route DD at Mason Spring Branch, and Missouri Highway 43 at Boiling Springs Branch.

Information on the Safe and Sound Bridge Improvement program statewide can be found on MoDOT’s website, at www.modot.org/safeandsound.