The Missouri Department of Transportation’s chronic lack of funding isn’t very surprising anymore. Just last November, Missouri voters rejected Proposition D, which would have increased the state’s gas tax by 10 cents and used the funds to boost spending on roads and bridges.
Without the additional funding, MoDOT counts on federal grant money to address infrastructure problems like the one posed by Missouri’s aging bridges.
In his Aug. 29 newsletter, U.S. Rep. Sam Graves, R-Mo., announced that MoDOT will receive a $20.7 million federal grant for the state’s bridge replacement program. To highlight the significance of the challenges, Graves said, “The average bridge in Missouri is 48 years old—most were only designed to last for 50 years.”
The problem sounds severe and a little dangerous, so we decided to see if the numbers hold up. To a degree, they do — Graves took the sentence from the MoDOT website.
But that doesn’t mean it’s time to panic every time you drive over a bridge.