WICHITA, Kan. — Over the next five years, Kansas and Missouri will see millions of dollars go toward repairing bridges in poor condition.
Kansas is getting $225 million from the U.S. Department of Transportation to repair and upgrade more than 1,000 bridges deemed to be in poor condition.
USDOT on Friday said, using data from 2020, Kansas has about 1,321 bridges in poor condition. However, the USDOT Federal Highway Administration website uses 2021 data showing Kansas has 1,277 bridges in poor condition. Federal funding will also go toward improving about 10,320 bridges that are listed in fair condition.
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In Missouri, the state will receive $484.3 million over five years for bridge repairs. USDOT says Missouri has 2,190 bridges that are in poor condition.
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In all, the federal transportation department is spending $27 billion on roughly 15,000 highway bridges across the United States. The money is part of the infrastructure law approved in November.
“Today we are releasing the first year of that program, which is $5.5 billion,” President Joe Biden said Friday afternoon.
He said about two-thirds of the bridges needing repair are considered off-system because they aren’t directly connected to the interstate highway system.
“These are the bridges that are often overlooked when decisions are being made, but they are essential for small towns, rural towns, farmers to get the products to market, small businesses to be able to serve customers,” Biden said.
“Because maintaining these bridges is often the responsibility of counties or towns whose budgets are stretched thin already, we decided to get rid of the requirement that counties or towns share in the cost,” he said.
The president said the federal government will pay for 100% of repairing the bridges.
According to USDOT, the states with the most bridges in poor condition are Iowa (4,571), Pennsylvania (3,353), and Illinois (2,374).