Crews from Emery Sapp & Sons (ESS) started work on this $36 million design-build project for MoDOT in the Spring of 2019. The Heavy Highway operation, in collaboration with Springfield and ESS-Asphalt teams, have made tremendous progress towards their goal of improving 19 bridges along 30 miles of I-44 between Sarcoxie and Halltown, Missouri. With a commitment to shared regional resources, ESS teams will effectively replace 13 bridges and rehabilitate six (6) bridges that were built as part of the original I-44 construction in the 1960’s.
As the bridge and structures manager, Brent Ponder has been a key leader on this project. Ponder, along with the help of several superintendents and foreman, continue to deliver our innovative approach as promised. When asked what he enjoyed most about the I-44 Project Bridge Rebuild, Brent said: “I really enjoy this particular project because it’s a design-build, and we got to be a part of developing the plan together with our design partner, Parsons. Now we get to implement that plan, and I just think that’s pretty cool.”
When asked about ESS’ unique maintenance of traffic approach, Ponder said: “One of MoDOT’s project goals is to move traffic through the project in a safe, efficient manner while using innovative techniques. Roughly 63,000 vehicles use the I-44 highway each day. The way ESS chose to handle this challenge played a huge role in winning this project. One of our proposed solutions was retaining at least one lane of I-44 open in each direction at all times in order to keep traffic moving. Speed limits have also been reduced to 60 mph to help limit risk. I’m proud to say we’re on track to meet all of MoDOT’s goals for this project.”
The project is expected to be complete on or before December 15, 2021.