The entire northbound span of the Missouri 291 bridge over the Missouri River will be closed from 8 p.m. Wednesday until 5 a.m. Friday while the Missouri Department of Transportation does prep work before a rehabilitation project.

For that day and a half, southbound traffic will be reduced to one lane and northbound traffic will be moved to one of the southbound lanes.

Following that prep work – setting up temporary concrete barriers and striping – crews will move northbound traffic back to one lane on the northbound bridge. The other lane, specifically the outer or right lane, will be closed through April.

MoDOT has kept that lane closed since mid-September due to significant deterioration found on that side of the bridge during an inspection in August. The 70-year-old bridge carries almost 11,000 vehicles daily, MoDOT estimates.

Inspectors first noticed damage on the northbound span during a biennial inspection in May, district bridge engineer Stephen Collyott said, and by the time they conducted a followup in August, the damage had worsened, leading to September’s closure.

The span for the southbound lanes over the river went up in 1996. Collyott said that bridge showed no problems during May's inspection.