Jefferson City, MO (STL.News) In just over one year, 100 of Missouri’s poorest bridges have been replaced or rehabilitated through Governor Mike Parson’s “Focus on Bridges” program.
Today, the program’s 100th bridge opened in Livingston County on Route 190 over the Thompson River. This is the 21st bridge completed in the Missouri Department of Transportation’s (MoDOT) Northwest District. The program’s first bridge opened on December 20, 2019, in Iron County in MoDOT’s Southeast District where 23 bridges have now been completed.
“It’s hard to believe it’s been a year since we launched the Focus on Bridges program. This was a major priority for our administration, and we are proud of MoDOT for continuing to move these critical projects forward during one of the most challenging times for our state,” Governor Parson said. “This is an exciting milestone for infrastructure in Missouri, and we look forward to the next 100 bridges.”
The Focus on Bridges program was launched by a $50 million appropriation from general revenue by the Missouri General Assembly in July 2019. Additionally, MoDOT received an $81.2 million INFRA Grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation, triggering another $301 million in bonding revenue for the program that was also approved by the legislature during the 2019 legislative session. In all, the program will repair or replace 250 of the state’s poorest bridges.
“In just over a year, bridge projects have been completed in every region of the state,” MoDOT Assistant Chief Engineer Eric Schroeter said. “Contracts have been awarded so far to 27 Missouri contractors who are performing the work. To date, we have paid $91 million on Focus on Bridges projects.”
The Route 190 project completed today replaced the deck on the bridge that was built in 1964 in order to provide a smoother driving surface. The project also brought the guardrail and bridge barriers up to current standards. Comanche Construction of Kansas City was the contractor. Work began in March 2020 with staged construction so that half of the bridge was replaced at a time to leave one lane open to traffic. The bridge carries more than 1,100 vehicles per day.
As 2020 draws to a close, work continues on 17 bridges with many more slated to be built in 2021.