New Hurricane Deck Bridge celebration Saturday honors its completion

Bridge to be open for traffic Tuesday

A parade of antique cars is one of the first sets of vehicles to travel across the new Hurricane Deck Bridge across the main channel of the Lake of the Ozarks. The bridge will open for public use on Tuesday, Sept. 10.


A parade of antique cars is one of the first sets of vehicles to travel across the new Hurricane Deck Bridge across the main channel of the Lake of the Ozarks. The bridge will open for public use on Tuesday, Sept. 10.
 Photo by Rebecca Martin.

The new Hurricane Deck Bridge across the main channel of the Lake of the Ozarks in Sunrise Beach opened for public use on Tuesday, Sept. 10.

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People attending the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new Hurricane Deck Bridge across the main channel of the Lake of the Ozarks walk past the old bridge and across the new bridge alongside it for the first time.

The Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) celebrated the bridge’s completion, about three months ahead of schedule, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on the bridge on Saturday, Sept. 7.

The new half-mile Hurricane Deck Bridge cost $32.3 million to build. It is supported by 12 piers and consists of more than 10,000 cubic yards of concrete and 1.75 million pounds of reinforced steel. The girders supporting the bridge’s concrete deck contain more than 4.2 million pounds of steel and are as long as 265 feet. Workers spent more than 50,000 hours building the bridge.

The completion of this project brings a close to a MoDOT that has over time replaced all four original bridges built when the Osage River was dammed in the 1930s.

“Aging infrastructure in the United States is a huge issue – whether it be bridges, roads, sewer and water infrastructure – and every community feels this,” said Kristopher Franken, Camden County presiding commissioner, at the ceremony. “These structures are paramount to our sustainability and to our moving forward economically.”

The Grand Glaize Bridge was the first to be replaced in 1984, followed by building a new U.S. Highway 54 span across the lake’s Little Niangua Arm west of Camdenton in the early 2000s and a second new bridge carrying Missouri 5 across the lake’s Big Niangua Arm a few years later.

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State Reps. Diane Franklin and Rocky Miller cut the ribbon signifying the opening of the new Hurricane Deck Bridge to public traffic. The bridge opened Tuesday, Sept. 10, with the celebration on Saturday, Sept. 7.

Speakers at the Saturday celebration also noted how the new bridge will help Sunrise Beach and the west side of the lake develop economically.

“It’s a great improvement for the community and a great improvement for the west side,” said Gregg Smith, member of the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission. “We need more businesses over here, and I think this is going to help us a lot.”

Speakers also focused heavily on preserving the history of the old bridge, whose preparation for demolition was set to begin on Tuesday with final demolition in spring 2014. As part of the ceremony Smith presented a commemorative plaque to Daphne Jeffries of the Camden County Historical Society, which will display the keepsake.

“History is very important,” Jeffries said. “This is a beautiful bridge. I’ve been here 30 years. I love that old bridge, but I know it has to go.”

The new Hurricane Deck Bridge stands just 3 feet east of the old bridge, which was built in 1936 and was the last truss-arch style bridge still in MoDOT’s inventory.

“This is a beautiful bridge that’s served our community for many, many years, and I’ll be sad to see it disappear from the Lake,” said State Rep. Diane Franklin of District 123, who grew up in Sunrise Beach. “However, we have to march forward, and the bridge that we’re on today will do for our community what that bridge did for us … This bridge marks the success of the Sunrise Beach area and the success for the lake as a whole with new bridges that are safe and welcoming to our tourists.”

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