You’ve probably noticed a few more road closures and detours over the last couple of years than usual. That’s because the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) has been working through their Focus on Bridges program to repair and replace more than 250 bridges across Missouri. That program launched in 2019 after I helped secure an $81.2 million INFRA Grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation to replace the I-70 Missouri River Bridge at Rocheport, unlocking additional state money for the program.
Now, building on that, MoDOT has started work on the Fixing Access to Rural Missouri (FARM) bridge replacement program to replace another 31 bridges across North Missouri. All of the bridges are one-lane, weight-restricted, and supported by timber pile. Most of them are on lettered routes. More than half of them were expected to close in less than 8 years if they weren’t replaced.
Working with Governor Mike Parson and our MoDOT commissioners, we were able to secure a $20.7 million federal grant in 2019 through the Competitive Highway Bridge Program to get the ball rolling on this program.
Now, work is already underway on three bridges: the Route B Bridge in Linn County over Smokey Branch, the Route Y Bridge in Macon County over Hoover Creek, and the Route J Bridge in Lewis County over Big Grassy Creek pictured below.
Here is a list of the rest of the bridges set to be replaced under the program in North Missouri:
Route E in Lewis County over Sugar Creek
Route E in Lewis County over Derrahs Branch
MO 139 in Linn County over Lewis Creek
Route C in Schuyler County over the North Fork of the Middle Fabius River
Route M in Schuyler County over the South Fork of the North Fabius River
MO 11 in Adair County over Floyd Creek
MO 11 in Adair County over the South Fork of the South Fabius River
Route M in Shelby County over Black Creek
Route A in Schuyler County over Bushy Creek
Route T in Adair County over the North Fork of the Salt River
Route W in Scotland County over Tobin Creek
Route WW in Linn County over Van Dorsen Creek
Route C in Livingston County over Shoal Creek
Route H in Scotland County over the North Fork of the North Wyaconda River
Route E in Schuyler County over the North Fork of the South Fabius River
Route A in Schuyler County over the North Fork of the Middle Fabius River
Route C in Linn County of West Yellow Creek
Route C in Sullivan County over Yellow Creek
Route E in Sullivan County over West Locust Creek
Route W in Grundy County over Gees Creek
Route N in Grundy County over No Creek
Route D in Chariton County over Clark Branch
Route D in Chariton County over the East Fork of Bee Branch
Route T in Gentry County over Fitzgerald Branch
Route T in Gentry County over Brush Creek
Route A in Worth County over Branch
While this might not be great news if you hoped some of these road closures would ease up, this is great news for the shape of our rural bridges moving forward. I’m glad we’re finally making some progress working through our maintenance backlog and thankful that Governor Parson and MoDOT are making this a priority. Working together, I believe we’ll continue to see progress on our rural roads and bridges in the years to come.