Missouri Bridges Among Most Deficient in Nation—McCaskill Urges Action
McCaskill urges President Trump—and Governor Greitens & Missouri State Legislature—to focus on infrastructure
WASHINGTON – Following a report which shows Missouri ranks fourth among all 50 states for the number of structurally deficient bridges in the state, U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill is urging President Donald Trump—and Missouri Governor Eric Greitens and leaders in the State Legislature—to focus on strengthening the state and country’s infrastructure.
“Our roads and bridges are crumbling and it’s time we fix them,” said McCaskill. “President Trump was crystal clear in his campaign that rebuilding our country’s infrastructure was a top priority, and I stand ready and willing to work with him to achieve that goal. And I hope to see the same kind of commitment from Governor Greitens and leaders in Jefferson City.”
According to the American Road & Transportation Builders Association report, of the 24,468 bridges in Missouri, 3,195 are classified as structurally deficient—2,987 of which are classified as functionally obsolete. The deficient bridges carry millions of passengers every day.
McCaskill has been a longtime supporter of investing in American infrastructure, despite elected Republican leaders in Congress blocking previous efforts. McCaskill has led efforts to claw back previously earmarked funds to ensure the money is spent on critical infrastructure needs instead of politicians’ pet projects. Her efforts allowed the Missouri Department of Transportation to direct $72.6 million of previously unspent funds across Missouri to support local needs. These funds were originally earmarked by Congress for use 10 or more years ago, but because they were duplicates, or the project was scrapped, among other reasons—the funds were never used.
In 2015, McCaskill helped craft a bipartisan highway bill that provides five years of funding certainty for states and localities so they can plan for their infrastructure construction and maintenance needs. Under the bill, Missouri is set to receive more than $5 billion over five years to fund road, bridge and transit projects.
Additionally, McCaskill joined a bipartisan coalition of nine Senators to introduce legislation to establish a new infrastructure financing authority that would help Missouri better leverage private funds to build and maintain the state’s outdated infrastructure without the use of federal tax dollars, an important tool for large infrastructure projects when federal funds are limited.
With 33,702 miles of highway, Missouri has the nation’s seventh largest state highway system, with more miles than Iowa, Nebraska, and Kansas combined. The state also has more bridges longer than 1,000 feet than any other state. The Missouri Department of Transportation estimates the agency will need an additional $1 billion per year for 20 years to protect and build on the investment Missourians have already made in their roads and bridges.
Visit mccaskill.senate.gov/jobs to learn more about McCaskill’s fight to boost job opportunities for Missouri.