The new Hurricane Deck Bridge is closer to completion after construction crews finished pouring the bridge's new deck Tuesday.
"Construction of the new bridge is slightly ahead of schedule," said Missouri Department of Transportation area engineer Bob Lynch. "There is a good chance we'll have the bridge open to traffic before the scheduled completion date, which is late 2013."
The new bridge will carry Route 5 over the Osage arm of the Lake of the Ozarks and is located just south of Sunrise Beach.
The $32.3 million project began in May 2012 and will replace the current bridge, which was built in 1936. Demolition of the old bridge is tentatively scheduled for next spring.
MoDOT officials say the new Hurricane Deck Bridge will be wider, with two 12-foot driving lanes and seven-foot shoulders on each side.
However, due to a reduction in MoDOT funds, the new bridge is one of the last major bridge projects in Missouri.
"Construction of this much-needed bridge has created jobs and, when completed, will make travel in the area safer and less congested," Lynch said. "Unfortunately, we won't be seeing too many more bridge projects of this caliber due to the severe decline in funding for transportation in Missouri."