JEFFERSON CITY, MO (STL.News) Wednesday, Missouri Governor Mike Parson visited bridges in Jackson, Ray, and St. Louis counties that will be repaired or replaced as part of his Focus on Bridges program.
Governor Parson visited the following three bridges:
- 140th Street bridge over Interstate 49 in Grandview
- Route J bridge over Crooked River near the city of Hardin
- Ladue Road bridge over Hibler Creek in Creve Coeur
This session, the legislature included $50 million in general revenue in the fiscal year 2020 state budget to repair or replace approximately 45 bridges throughout the state and another $50 million for a cost-share program.
Construction contracts have been awarded on 27 of the 45 bridges. All are scheduled to be under contract by the end of the year and completed in 2020. The first of the bridges to go under construction will be Route JJ over Prices Branch near Bellflower in Montgomery County beginning November 1, 2019.
“From the very beginning, our administration has and will continue to focus on investing in and improving Missouri’s infrastructure, specifically our transportation infrastructure,” Governor Parson said.
In the State of the State address in January, Governor Parson asked the Missouri legislature to consider a concurrent resolution to fund 250 bridge projects that were already prioritized for repair or replacement in the Missouri Department of Transportation’s Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP).
The legislature ultimately compromised on a resolution authorizing MoDOT to bond $301 million to repair or replace 215 bridges, contingent upon the receipt of collateral funding in the form of an Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT). Missouri’s receipt of an $81.2 million INFRA grant in July triggered the $301 million in state bonding, which will be repaid out of general revenue over a seven-year period.
More good news came in August when MoDOT secured another federal grant for $20.7 million under USDOT’s Competitive Highway Bridge Program. This grant will enable MoDOT to replace 40 bridges in northern Missouri.
“We have made outstanding progress toward improving Missouri’s bridge infrastructure this year, but we still have a long way to go,” Governor Parson said. “With one of the nation’s largest but lowest-funded highway systems, Missouri currently has 909 bridges in poor condition and more than $8 billion in unfunded transportation needs. Transportation drives our economy, and we must address these critical road and bridge needs to ensure growth and success going forward.”