In addition to the Harry S. Truman Library & Museum's massive renovation that starts this summer, the Missouri Department of Transportation will replace the U.S. 24 bridge over Bess Truman Parkway/Delaware Street in front of the museum.
Adam Norris, Independence assistant city manager, says MoDOT is evaluating bids and will take some time to get a contract in place. Teardown and reconstruction should be started by the end of September, and the new bridge will be completed next spring.
There are two structures – one eastbound, one westbound – and MoDOT will replace one at a time so traffic can keep flowing. While that likely means traffic congestion, it avoids a complete road closure and detours.
Last November, MoDOT estimated the new bridges would cost about $3.95 million. Revised projections in March had price tag down to $2.98 million. That means a break for the city of Independence, which has a cost apportionment agreement for bridge enhancements designed to give pedestrians more accommodations and make the bridge visually appealing as an entryway to the museum.
The city initially projected its share to be $1.322 million and made a $50,000 down payment last year. With the revised projection, Independence's total share went down to $350,000, paid for from the street sales tax fund.
In the early planning stages, MoDOT floated some other possible designs in which the bridge went away – lowering U.S. 24 to have a roundabout with Delaware, or running the U.S. 24 lanes down what currently are the entrance and exit ramps – but instead the department opted for a straight-up replacement.
The bridge project will fall well within the time frame of the Truman Library project. The library closes to the public at the end of July 22 and is to remain closed until at least late summer of 2020.