JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - After an inspection by the Missouri Department of Transportation, the Jefferson City Public Works Department announced the bridge on Ohio Street, between Louisiana Avenue and South Boulevard, is closed to vehicle traffic. The bridge remains open to pedestrians and bikers.
The weight limit was lowered from 15 to five tons as a result of the inspection.
"We've seen some serious deterioration of the bridge," said Operations Divisions Director Britt Smith of Jefferson City Public Works. "It was one that we had been monitoring already... We thought it was most appropriate to move it to a pedestrian-only bridge."
Smith said the city council will discuss what immediate next steps to take. Possible actions include repair, demolition and additional study, Smith said.
The most recent study of vehicle traffic in that area was done in 1996. The study found about 1,300 vehicles used the bridge daily. Smith says traffic in the area has not changed significantly since then. Drivers can avoid the bridge by taking South Boulevard and Kansas Street to Missouri Boulevard.
Smith said MoDOT inspections of the bridge take place every two-three years. The most recent analysis found the bridge was deteriorating quicker than expected.
"We were expecting a downgrade just not all the way to five tons," Smith said.
No school bus routes are affected by the closure, according to the Ryan Burns, director of communications with Jefferson City Public Schools.