Birds disrupt Hwy 94 bridge work

Migrating swallows nesting on the Auxvasse Creek bridge on Missouri 94 blocked repairs this spring along with backwater this summer from the Missouri River. But deck replacement finally will begin Sept. 19 and close the bridge for almost two months.

Migrating swallows nesting on the Auxvasse Creek bridge on Missouri 94 blocked repairs this spring along with backwater this summer from the Missouri River. But deck replacement finally will begin Sept. 19 and close the bridge for almost two months. (Ashley Kling/FOR THE FULTON SUN)

Students in the South Callaway R-2 School District will be riding the bus much longer this fall because migrating swallows nested on the Auxvasse Creek Bridge on Missouri 94 just east of Mokane this spring.

A $688,439 contract to replace the deck and other improvements was awarded on Jan. 12 and the bridge was scheduled to be completed by May 7.

“This has been very frustrating for both the construction firm and the Missouri Department of Transportation,” said Patty Lemongelli, MoDOT district construction and maintenance engineer.

Lemongelli said the contract for replacing the deck included a provision required by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service that would block work on the bridge if protected species of birds were nesting on the bridge between April 15 and Aug. 1.

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