Counties agree to divide funds for I-70 Rocheport Bridge
ROCHEPORT - Mid-Missouri county and city leaders are deciding how to divide the funds still needed for the replacement of the Missouri River Bridge in Rocheport.
In July, the federal government granted the state of Missouri $81.2 million for the project. The grant falls $91.3 million short of what Missouri would need to replace the bridge.
MoDOT will cover about 98 percent of the shortfall. The cities and counties are responsible for covering the remaining $4.2 million.
Boonville, Columbia, Cooper County, and Boone County leaders are meeting with Mo-DOT to decide how to come up with the rest of the money.
"The questions come between the numbers that we were originally told and the numbers that are now being used," Boonville Mayor Ned Beach said. "I'm just praying that there's going to be enough."
Boone County Commissioner Daniel Atwill said the county made an agreement with Mo-DOT to give $2 million towards replacing the bridge.
According to the county commission the remaining funds are being divided between four areas.
- Boone County: $2 million
- The City of Columbia: $2 million
- Cooper County: $100,000
- The City of Boonville: $100,000
Even with the money from each city and county, the project may still come up short in funding.
Atwill said the amount Mo-DOT requested from the federal government was a lot more than what was granted.
The Commissioner said the state will either need to reallocate funds or find somewhere else to get the money. He said this project is a lot bigger than just Mid-Missouri.
"It affects the entire nation," he said. "We've seen illustrations of merchandise that gets shipped over the bridge by truck. It goes within 72 hours to all states in the continental United States."
All four government entities have yet to meet to discuss the funding issue. Beach said there's a lot of talk but not from the right places.
"You're reporting the information that you are getting," he said. "Those sources are not the sources that have the checkbook."
The Boone County commission will revisit the funding issue on Thursday.