Long Creek Bridge/ Courtesy KY3

The Long Creek bridge which carries Missouri Route 86 across Table Rock Lake has been opened to traffic as of 8:15 a.m. Friday, three weeks ahead of schedule following urgent repairs.

Missouri Department of Transportation says work to repair structural steel at the bearings that connect the bridge’s driving surface to the truss support system was expected to take up to 30 days to complete.

Due to thorough advanced planning which included having all the needed materials, using three highly-skilled MoDOT bridge crews (one from MoDOT’s Southeast District in Sikeston and two from MoDOT’s Southwest District in Springfield) working 12-to-14 hour days and less deterioration than expected, the work was completed ahead of schedule.

Originally, MoDOT crews expected to replace the structural steel in 24 locations and were anticipating additional deterioration to other steel bridge components underneath the bridge. In the end, the urgent repairs involved repairing 22 locations and no additional deterioration was discovered. Also, the repairs were made quickly with very few complications.

The 25-ton weight restriction on the bridge has been removed.

MoDOT crews have removed barricades on Route 86 and have updated messages on the electronic, changeable message boards. Detour signs along Route 13, Route 76, Route 465, Route 65 and Route 86 will be removed starting the week of June 10.