McKenna pleased with progress of Missouri’s $350 million bridge bonding plan

Regional News

Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) Director Patrick McKenna briefs Capitol reporters in Jefferson City on June 25, 2020. Governor Parson listens (photo courtesy of the governor’s Flickr page)

(Missourinet)– More than 100 bridges in Missouri’s $350 million bridge bonding plan are now under contract, and 13 have already been completed.

State Department of Transportation (MoDOT) Director Patrick McKenna briefed Capitol reporters about the bonding plan’s status, during a Thursday media briefing in Jefferson City. McKenna says an additional 58 bridges are currently under construction.

“Before the fiscal year is concluded (on June 30), we’ve already got 114 of those (bridge projects) under contract. Our team and our consulting partners have been working very hard,” McKenna says.

A heavily-traveled bridge on Highway 79 in eastern Missouri’s Lincoln County will open to the public on Friday afternoon. During the media briefing, Director McKenna told Missourinet that the 82-year-old bridge in Lincoln County has been replaced, using funding from the 2019 bridge bonding plan.

“It’s replacing a bridge that was built in 1938, and that will be upgraded to current standards. It’s going to be eight feet wider and 20 feet longer,” says McKenna.

Lincoln County, which is north of St. Charles County, has been one of the fastest-growing counties in the state.

McKenna says 13 bridges have already been completed, so the Lincoln County bridge will be the 14th.

In 2019, Missouri lawmakers approved the $350 million bridge bonding plan, which is repairing or replacing 250 deteriorating bridges. The plan was a top priority for both Governor Mike Parson (R) and Senate President Pro Tem Dave Schatz (R-Sullivan).

McKenna tells Capitol reporters that MoDOT crews are staying busy during the COVID-19 pandemic. There are more than 400 active construction projects. McKenna praises the agency’s construction partners.

He also notes that the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission has authorized more than $1 billion in construction awards this year.

McKenna joined the governor at this afternoon’s media briefing. Earlier in the day, McKenna testified before a legislative committee about the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on MoDOT.

McKenna testified before the bipartisan Joint Committee on Transportation Oversight, telling lawmakers that the pandemic has had a $45 to $100 million impact on his agency.

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