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Part of I-70 Shuts Down for Bridge Demolition

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- It's a complex plan.  "The project is unique."  120,000 cars a day forced off I-70 while MoDOT demolishes three bridges in one weekend. 

"So the bridges are nearly 60 years old. "

The bridges are so old they are crumbling. 

"Here's a good look at the problem. You got all kinds of surface material. The original concrete, asphalt sealant on top of that, and concrete on top of that, and it's all deteriorating. These bridges were built in the 1960s."

While the demolition is pretty straight forward, planning for this project is not. 

"We really tried to find the sweet spot, where we don't have large events, we are not impacting school," explains Matt Killion, MoDOT's area engineer.

In fact, MoDOT worked with the staff at the stadiums to plan a weekend where there are no events. 

Still, many who live in the area are worried about their neighborhoods becoming crowded.
Patti Jensen lives nearby.  "That's a lot of people that have got to go down either 35th, 39th, 40 Highway, I don't care where you going to be.. I'm not going anywhere," Jensen says.

Jensen and her sister live on the opposite ends of this now closed bridge.
"I live right off of 39th street. And I have to come over here to 41st to see my sister, which is like a 5 mile trip around to get to her when I could have walked it. " 

But Patti admits, the pain is worth the gain. The safety of a new bridge that will last for decades to come.  "We've designed all the bridges at the same time," Killion says.   

As MoDOT chips away at the bridge, they want to protect the roadway, I-70, from any damage of the falling rock. To do that, before they get going, they will coat the entire interstate with three to four feet of sand. That way when they are done with the demolition, they can just clean the sand up and get drivers back on there even more quickly.

Even after the demo is done and drivers are back on the freeway, the project won't be done.
The next phase is construction of the new bridges.  And that won't be done until December. 

The interstate is scheduled to reopen Monday at 5 a.m.


(KSHB for CNN)


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