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Bad concrete means Hydraulic, Kellogg bridge must be redone

About half of the eastbound Kellogg bridge that spans Hydraulic and channels traffic onto I-135 will soon be torn down.

That's because the concrete used by construction crews to rebuild the bridge failed strength tests, according to Benny Tarverdi, a metro engineer for the Kansas Department of Transportation.

"We still don't know exactly what the problem is," he said. "We're investigating it to see how to resolve the issue."

The problem emerged about a week ago when officials tested samples of the concrete to ensure the partially completed bridge could handle at least 4,000 pounds of pressure per square inch.

The cylindrical concrete samples are tested 28 days after the concrete used on the bridge is poured to ensure that the materials are sound.

Many samples were tested. Some passed, but others failed, Tarverdi said.

The I-135 and Kellogg interchange is part of a $20 million project that began in May.

The bridge will be torn down and replaced by the contractor.

"It's not going to cost the taxpayers a penny," Tarverdi said.

Wildcat Construction Co. Inc. is the primary contractor on the bridge project. Other subcontractors are working on it as well.

Alan Farrington, a project manager with Wildcat, said the concrete came from Concrete Materials Co., which is a Cornejo & Sons company. That company couldn't be reached Friday afternoon.

Farrington said Wildcat crews have worked on the bridge for 16 weeks and have about 11 weeks left to meet the Nov. 22 scheduled completion date. He said crews will work hard to complete the bridge on time.

Farrington didn't know exactly how much it would cost, but said it approaches seven figures.

"It's nothing anyone really wants to do, but it's what has been directed," he said. "I hope the weather cooperates and we can open it back up in that 11 weeks and have people happy by the holidays."

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