Big Money Needed for Bridges

1 decade 7 months 1 week ago Thursday, October 18 2007 Oct 18, 2007 Thursday, October 18, 2007 12:37:04 AM CDT October 18, 2007 in News

An average of 21,000 drivers cross 200 bridges each day, and each bridge spans more than the length of three football fields.

"We have everything from ones that were built in the 30's to ones that were built in the 90's, so our bridges have a wide spanned of age. And we have lots of issues," described MO-Dot District Engineer Eric Schroeter.

Rust, erosion and narrow lanes raise concern for MO-Dot officials who say $500 million in repairs is needed.

Schroeter says that some of the money will go towards giving a new paint job to Jefferson City bridge, and others like it.

Typically the lanes of modern bridges are 12 feet wide. But when they're not, drivers complain.

"But if you're driving over an older bridge that was not built with those modern widths, people would understandably get nervous, feel crowded. Especially if there's a big truck coming by," said Jeff Briggs of MO-Dot.

Still, MO-Dot says there's no reason to alarm drivers just yet. While it would cost $7 billion to replace them all, with proper maintenance, MO-Dot says they can safely carry traffic for another 100 years.

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