(Arcadia) Just six months after the program’s launch in May, the first project in Governor Mike Parson’s Focus on Bridges program is now partially open to traffic.

A new Highway 72 bridge over Stouts Creek in Iron County near Arcadia is now open to one lane of traffic.

The existing bridge was in such poor condition that the Missouri Department of Transportation did not want it to carry traffic through the winter months.

Consequently, the construction contract called for the new bridge which is being built alongside the old structure.

While one lane is open, temporary signals have been placed at each end of the bridge.

Full completion of the bridge is expected this spring.

The State’s bridge program will repair or replace 250 of the state’s poorest bridges.

The Stout’s Creek bridge is one of six in the program currently under construction.

The 43 others are under contract.