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Fixing Access to Rural Missouri

Dear Friend,

This week I visited two bridges on Highway E in Lewis County. Both started in the same condition—one lane, weight-limited with timber pile. Basically, they’re old, falling apart and not very safe to drive on. We’re in the process of changing that, though.

The first bridge, over Derrahs Branch, is currently still in poor condition. The deck of the bridge has taken a beating over the years, and you can clearly see the rebar poking through by the guardrails. The good news is that it’s set to be replaced this summer.


The second bridge, over Sugar Creek on Highway E just a couple miles west, has been completely torn out and the Missouri Department of Transportation is about halfway done building a new bridge there.

Both these bridges are being replaced under MoDOT’s Fixing Access to Rural Missouri (FARM) Bridge program, which will replace a total of 31 one-lane bridges all across North Missouri. You can find a full list of those bridges and when work is set to start on each one here.


Back in 2019, I was proud to work with MoDOT and then-DOT Secretary Elaine Chao to secure a $20.8 million federal grant to replace these bridges in North Missouri. MoDOT is kicking in another $5.2 million. I’m glad to finally see this money finally being put to good use and I’m grateful for the leadership of our MoDOT Commissioners, MoDOT Director Patrick McKenna, and Governor Mike Parson, who have all made reinvesting in our rural roads a priority again.


For years, folks in rural Missouri have felt like we’ve gotten the short end of the stick when it comes to road and bridge funding. Now, it finally seems like we’re making some real progress to turn that around.


Sam Graves

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