Missouri Bridges "In a State of Disrepair"

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - Thousands of drivers cross Missouri bridges each day, but the bridges are in a state of disrepair, according to a report from Transportation for America.

"The information in the report is accurate to a point," says MoDOT Southwest District Bridge Engineer Dave O'Connor.

The data is from 2010 and his crews are either inspecting or repairing bridges daily, says O'Connor.

"Basically I look for deterioration, just structural problems," says O'Connor. "You look for rusting, you look for concrete deterioration."

Some of the bridges that appear in red labeled as deficient on the map have already been repaired. Others are slated to be fixed, such as the decking or pavement on the bridge on Battlefield that spans Highway 65.

"That bridge is on the list of deficient bridges," says O'Connor. "It is also on our program for replacement. It's one of those that we are working with the city of Springfield on."

Other bridges have been replaced entirely, such as two on the 60/65 interchange, according to O'Connor.

"I think it's important for people to know it doesn't mean they are unsafe," says Dan Smith, head of the Greene County Highway Department. "They are perfectly safe."

"Some cracks in the concrete could let some water in and deteriorate the steel in this particular case," says Smith of two bridges, one on Farm Road 146 and the other on Farm Road 150. "They are still very strong and still safe to drive over. It just means we need to keep them from deteriorating even further."

However, O'Connor says the struggle to be deficient free is always the same.

"It's just a matter of funding," says O'Connor.

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