The final project replaced the Blue Ridge Boulevard bridge over Interstate 70 in Independence and made interchange improvements to the ramps and approaches. The bridge officially reopened just four years after the first bridge under the program.
"Infrastructure has been a top priority since day one, and four years ago, we set out to replace 250 of our poorest bridges through the Focus on Bridges program,” Parson said. “Today, we are proud to celebrate the 250th bridge completed as promised. From St. Louis to Springfield, from the Bootheel to the great Northwest, this program benefited Missourians everywhere. ... While there is more to do, we know we have made a real difference and created a lasting model that will continue to serve Missourians now and into the future."
MoDOT is responsible for maintaining 10,424 bridges on the state system, the sixth most in the nation. The average age of the bridges is 49 years, and most of them were designed to last 50 years. Prior to Governor Parson’s focus on infrastructure, the number of bridges rated as “poor” using Federal Highway Administration criteria, were increasing year over year rather than declining as now seen in Missouri. Currently there are 804 bridges that have been rated “poor” using Federal Highway Administration criteria, down 19 from a year ago.
“The completion of the Focus on Bridges program is an example of the progress being made to Missouri’s bridges and Gov. Parson’s commitment to moving Missouri forward,” MoDOT Director Patrick McKenna said. “I applaud the governor for his leadership and commitment to improving Missouri’s bridges and roadways. We will continue to work towards reducing the number of poor bridges in Missouri as additional federal and state revenue becomes available.”