Plan to Fix Missouri Bridges
Some Missouri drivers, like Dustin March, are ready to see the repairs begin.
"I'm glad they're finally doing it," he said. "I think the Minnesota bridge collapse finally opened up everybody's eyes and it's something that probably needed to be done for a long time."
The bridge project calls for a 30 year contract where a team of contractors are responsible for financing, designing, and constructing the bridges. Contractors must rebuild or fix the bridges in 5 years. For the remaining 25 years, contractors will maintain all 800 bridges while receiving a steady payment from the government. The project will cost Missouri about 400 to 600 million dollars.
Without the legislature's approval, contractors could not afford the bonds to finance the project.
"We have to have a minimum of two teams to submit proposals by state statute, or we're not allowed to continue with the procurement," said Bruce Green, Assistant Bridge Project Director. "So basically, It would have been dead in the water."
The Missouri Department of Transportation says there is at least one bridge in each county on the list and expects construction to start by spring.