LIBERTY — The bridge demolition of Missouri Highway 152 over Interstate 35 will begin at 10 p.m. Friday, May 31.
However, lane closures will begin as early as noon in preparation of the work. During the demolition of the existing bridge, all I-35 traffic will be reduced to one lane and will be diverted up and over the ramps at Highway 152. Highway 152 traffic will not be able to access I-35 throughout the demolition phase. There will be signed detours alerting drivers to use alternate routes.
All work is weather dependent.
Closure of both eastbound and westbound left turn lanes from Highway 152 to I-35 on-ramps will be at noon Friday. At that time, eastbound and westbound traffic on Highway 152 will be reduced to one lane each way.
At 7 p.m. Friday, left turn lanes from Highway 152 going to northbound and southbound on-ramps of I-35 will be closed. I-35 will be reduced to one lane going northbound and southbound.
At 10 p.m., the complete closure of Highway 152 eastbound at North Church Road and westbound at Conistor will take place. I-35 northbound and southbound traffic will be routed up the ramps. The bridge will be completely closed.
By 5 a.m., Monday, June 3, demolition is expected to be complete. The I-35 traffic route will be back on normal course and Highway 152 will have limited access to I-35.
“This has been an issue for about five years as we have worked on financing the project and getting timetables set,” said Liberty Mayor Lyndell Brenton. “I can understand how some people think it’s a bit surreal that we are days from demolition, but the surreal part was that time getting the financing and the planning to make this happen.”
Once demolition is complete, crews will begin constructing the new bridges. The contractor, Miles Excavating, has about 100 working days to complete the project with an expected completion date is mid-September.
“There are incentives to see this happen,” Brenton said. “In the scheme of things, it is manageable.”
One finished, the larger bridge will be eight lanes wide while the smaller one will be three lanes. The new design allows drivers going to or coming from the north on I-35 to be diverted onto the smaller bridge. This is called a displaced-left interchange. Drivers on the larger bridge coming from or going to the south or staying on Highway 152 should not notice much of a change.
Brenton encourages drivers to be cooperative.
“It’s going to take a concerted effort,” the mayor said. “People may have to give themselves a few more minutes drive time. It’s worth being positive. With every progress, there will be some inconvenience. We just need people to be patient.”