Lehman-Wilson team selected to design, build 31 bridges in northern Missouri

Worth Co Route A bridge Deck

The Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission today selected the Lehman-Wilson team for the design-build contract to replace 31 weight-restricted and poor condition bridges in northern Missouri over the next two and a half years through the Fixing Access to Rural Missouri Bridge Program. It was made possible by the 2019 receipt of a $20.7 million federal grant under the Federal Highway Administration’s Competitive Highway Bridge Program.

Design-build is a project delivery method in which one contracting team is selected to design and build the highway improvement under one contract. MoDOT provides the project goals, budget, and schedule and the contractor team completes the work. This technique has been known to significantly save time and provide cost savings.

The Lehman-Wilson team includes Lehman Construction Co. of California, Missouri, and Wilson & Co. Engineers & Architects of Kansas City. “We were very pleased with the proposals submitted by these teams and are ready to make improvements on the transportation system in these rural areas,” said Missouri Department of Transportation Project Director Jeff Gander.

The project will replace deficient bridges on low-volume routes that are:

  • Weight-restricted
  • In poor condition
  • On timber pile
  • One-lane but carry two-way traffic

The full list of bridges to be replaced can be found on the FARM Bridge program web page.

“We’re proud to have been selected to build the bridges on the FARM Bridge Program and look forward to a good working relationship with MoDOT and the region,” said Lehman Construction owner Kenny Lehman.

The Lehman-Wilson team’s goal is to subcontract 6% of the construction and 12% of the professional and design activities to Disadvantaged Business Enterprise companies. Federal workforce goals also require that various percentages by county of those working on the project are minorities and 6.9% are female for all counties.

The next step in the design-build process is for Lehman-Wilson to fine-tune its design plans on the first set of bridges to be replaced. “We expect construction to begin later this fall,” Gander said, “and, depending on the level of winter we have, it is possible we could work straight through.”

He indicated each road will be closed at the bridge to speed up construction. “Message boards will be placed on these roads a few weeks before each closure, and we encourage residents in these areas to sign up to receive our email and text alerts,” he said. He added MoDOT will continue to send information and updates to local media for their distribution. MoDOT’s online traveler map also shows locations of work zones and road closures.

The oldest bridge to be replaced is on Route A in Worth County and was built in 1930.  (click to see photo)  The average age of these bridges is 80 years.

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