State transportation officials will hold a virtual open house Tuesday evening to outline details of the massive $240 million project to replace the aging I-70 bridge in mid-Missouri’s Rocheport.

The current I-70 bridge in mid-Missouri’s Rocheport was built in 1960. It’s in poor condition, according to MoDOT (2020 file photo courtesy of MoDOT’s Lissie Wade)

State Department of Transportation (MoDOT) Rocheport bridge project director Brandi Baldwin says the virtual presentations will take place Tuesday from 5 to 6:30, and will be repeated every 20 minutes.

“What we plan to do is share with the public a series of slides, giving an overview of the project. And we’ll play that presentation in a loop,” Baldwin says.

You can find a link to Tuesday’s virtual open house here, on the MoDOT website.

Missouri has received an $81 million federal grant to replace the bridge, which was built in 1960. The federal grant was also tied-in to a related project to build one-point-two miles of truck climbing lanes on I-70 at east-central Missouri’s Mineola Hill. The Mineola Hill project, which is happening in Montgomery County, continues to progress. There are cranes on-site, along with equipment.

The deteriorating I-70 bridge in Rocheport is listed in poor condition, by MoDOT. The agency describes the bridge as “the lynchpin of America,” carrying more than 12-million vehicles annually. That includes 3.6 million trucks.

Baldwin expects the project to be done by the end of 2024.

“We will be awarding the project this summer at our July (State Highway) commission meeting, so we are working towards that,” says Baldwin.

The Rocheport bridge connects Boone and Cooper counties and also connects St. Louis and Kansas City. MoDOT also notes it connects a majority of the nation. Within 48 hours, trucks carrying goods to all 48 lower states will have crossed the Rocheport bridge, according to MoDOT.

Click here to listen to Brian Hauswirth’s full interview with State Department of Transportation (MoDOT) Rocheport bridge project director Brandi Baldwin, which was recorded on January 22, 2021:

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