JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Missouri is getting a more than $20 million federal grant to replace deteriorating bridges.
Gov. Mike Parson’s office in a Thursday announcement said the $20.7 million grant will pay to replace 40 bridges in northern Missouri. State Bridge Engineer Dennis Heckman says the bridges slated for repair are on average 77 years old.
Parson’s office says the bridges are in poor condition, have weight restrictions, and are one-lane wide but support two-way traffic. The administration says replacing them will end current detours and prevent future ones.
Parson says the bridges north of Interstate 70 also are critical in transporting Missouri agricultural products. He says repairs will allow farmers to compete globally.
In 2018, Missouri ranked as one of the worst states for bridges with more than 3,000 in need of big repairs. Earlier this year, Gov. Mike Parson debated with lawmakers on allocating $350 million toward fixing 250 of them.
The Missouri Department of Trasportation has several historic bridges up for grabs as part of a federal law that states any historic bridge that may be demolished or replaced must first be offered for free.