Motorists traveling both north and south on U.S. 61 just north of Troy will be detoured beginning at 12 noon today (Friday, June 19). The Missouri Department of Transportation is closing both bridges at the Cuivre River due to high water against the bridges.

"These bridges were built more than 40 years ago, and they are not large enough to handle the continued amount of flooding that has occurred over the last decade," Gough said. High velocity and force of water against the bridge girders, located between the bridge deck and the piers could potentially make the bridge unstable. "The bridge will remain closed until the water recedes and engineers can evaluate their stability," she explained. It is important to note motorists will not see water over the road, but the bridges will remain closed until further notice.

A few years ago, damage to the piers, called scour, was discovered during a routine inspection. Over time, high levels of fast moving water have caused erosion around the base of the piers, and MoDOT immediately stabilized the area with additional rock around the base of the piers. "This fixed the immediate scour issue and is working well," Gough added. "To address the size of the bridge, we have done preliminary work to determine the scope of new bridges, but the main hurdle is finding the $10 million to $14 million we need to build new bridges," she said.

Gough went on to explain the reason both bridges would need to close is because if the southbound bridge has issues, it could impact the northbound bridge.

Debris and drift cause additional concern as it jams under the bridge, again compromising its integrity. "Our crews are monitoring this bridge constantly during a flood event, and we have the people and equipment ready to remove any large debris that could hit a pier or girder," she explained.

DETOURS: Northbound Route 61 traffic is being detoured on Missouri Route 47 at Troy to Missouri Route 79 at Winfield, Route 79 north to Route B at Elsberry then proceed west on Route B to Route 61; southbound Route 61 traffic is being detoured over Route B to Route 79 at Elsberry, south on Route 79 to Route 47 at Winfield, then proceed west on Route 47 to Route 61 at Troy. Detour signs and message boards are in place to advise motorists of these alternate routes. Commercial vehicles, if possible, are being asked to use U.S. 54 Kingdom City to Bowling Green, MO 79 at Louisiana, and MO 47 at Winfield, then back to U.S. 61 at Troy.

Crews will continue to monitor the bridges and will not reopen until safe passage is possible. The roadway will be opened to motorists as soon as the floodwater recedes, and the bridges and roadway have been inspected for safe travel.

To receive immediate notice of this closure and others in Lincoln County, drivers are encouraged to subscribe to MoDOT e-update and text alert service at https://www6.modot.mo.gov/eMoDOTWeb/jsp/signon/signon.jsp.

Press release from the Missouri Department of Transportation