Emergency bids have been let to repair an expansion joint that popped out of place Monday afternoon on the Arkansas River Bridge on South Main in Garden City.
A truck went over the northbound traffic expansion joint on the south side of the bridge and it jumped out of place forcing one-lane traffic on the bridge.
Joe Finley, District Maintenance Engineer for Kansas Department of Transportation, said they were fortunate the joint came out in daylight because it would have been very difficult to see after nightfall.
A KDOT crew set up barricades and directed one-lane traffic around the obstacle.
Finley said a KDOT crew would try to pop the joint back into place and provide a temporary repair until the joints could be fixed permanently.
Emergency bids have been requested to repair the expansion joints for both lanes of traffic on the south side of the bridge. Those bids are due back by noon on Dec. 13. Once the bids have been let, it will take some time for engineering to be completed, contracts will have to be written and once a crew has been hired, it will take some time to complete repairs so no time frame on the repair project is available.
A temporary repair had previously been done on the southbound lane expansion joint but nothing had been done about the northbound lane expansion joint because it was in proper position, Finley said.
"The expansion joint has had some issues," Finley said.
Only temporary repairs have been made on the expansion joints because the bridge is slated for replacement and KDOT didn't want to spend money on repairing the joints when they were going to be replaced with the rest of the bridge anyway. The expansion joints on the north end of the bridge are fine and don't need to be repaired.
But that all changed Monday afternoon. Finley said both expansion joints on the south side of the bridge will have to be repaired now.
As for replacing the bridge, it is on the replacement list but there is no time frame since there are no dedicated funds available.