This week, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced that Missouri has been awarded an $81.2 million Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) Grant to be used towards replacing the I-70 Missouri River Bridge in Rocheport. The bridge, which has reached the end of its useful life, is a critical piece of infrastructure that carries millions of vehicles and billions of dollars in goods every year.
Had Missouri not received these grant funds, our only option would have been to close portions of the bridge for expensive, temporary repairs—resulting in eight-hour backups and crippling economic damage. The new Rocheport Bridge will be designed to accommodate six lanes of traffic, last 100 years, and will be built without disrupting traffic.
While this project is obviously important to anybody who travels or ships goods across the state of Missouri, it’s also important to our rural communities. My $301 million bridge-bonding package, which was passed this year, will go into full effect because language included in the plan required Missouri to successfully compete for the INFRA Grant. This package will repair or replace an additional 215 deficient bridges across the state and jump start nearly $1 billion in transportation infrastructure repairs.
I’m grateful for our federal and congressional delegation, the governor and our state legislative leaders put the work into making sure these critical repairs could move forward. Our transportation system is our greatest public asset. We owe it to Missourians to invest wisely and keep this essential resource in the best condition possible.
More information on the bridge-bonding plan can be found at https://www.modot.org/focus-bridges.
Thank you for reading this weekly column. Please contact my office at (573) 751-3678 if you have any questions.