SUNRISE BEACH, Mo. — The Hurricane Deck Bridge is ready to roll... or be rolled on.

The Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) held a ribbon cutting ceremony for the new bridge’s opening on Saturday, Sept. 7 at the bridge, which spans the Osage Arm of the Lake of the Ozarks on Highway 5 in Sunrise Beach.

View photos of the Hurricane Deck Bridge Dedication.

The new bridge, with two 12-foot driving lanes and seven-foot shoulders will be open to the public by the evening of Monday, Sept. 9.

Community and state leaders attended the ceremony including Representatives Diane Franklin and Rocky Miller, Camden County Commissioner Kris Franken, Sunrise Beach Mayor Curt Mooney, Lake West Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Mike Kenagy. The ceremony included; the Zack Wheat Post No. 624 Color Guard, a parade of cars from the Laurie-Sunrise Beach Rotary Club’s Fall Follies Car Show, fireworks, the Sunrise Beach Fire Protection District fire boat, and an observance and presentation of a plaque honoring the history of the old bridge, built in 1936.

The American Bridge Company, Inc. of Overland Park, Kan., is the contractor on the $32.3 million project, which began in May of 2012. The construction portion of the project was completed three months early. "It's such a wonderful opportunity to do a safety improvement like this at the Lake," MoDOT Central District Engineer David  Silvester said. "It's the number one tourist destination in the state, and the improvements that we've made in the area have all done very well to improve the economic development of this area.”

But the event was not without dissenters. Some residents who live in the Sunset Palms Condominiums, located on the south end of the bridge, attended the ceremony carrying picket signs and voicing their grievances concerning trees that were cut down during the bridge construction—trees they say which were meant to be sound and sight buffers—and they asked for a sound buffering wall. Silvester said MoDOT would try to add trees to help with the problem.

The new bridge was built on the east side of the existing structure. The old bridge will be prepared for demolition throughout the rest of 2013, and the final demolition will be in the spring of 2014. The removal work will be contingent on Lake activity with crews stripping the deck off of the existing structure and taking the bridge down to the trusses, which extend from pier to pier and carry the main load of the bridge. They will then load and shoot the rest with explosives, dropping large chunks of the bridge into the Lake and remove them with cranes.

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