The Missouri Department of Transportation has begun re-opening many Mid-Missouri roads and highways that were closed due to flooding, but some county roads are still affected, particularly those near the Osage River.
MODOT reopened the 14 mile stretch of I-44 near Jerome southwest of Rolla Thursday morning, which had been closed for nearly 24 hours. Highway 63 near Westphalia was also closed Wednesday afternoon due to water on the road, but that route was also re-opened Thursday morning.
Ridership on Amtrak's Missouri River Runner passenger trains between Kansas City and St. Louis has increased for the sixth straight year.
MoDOT says nearly 197,000 passengers rode the train in the fiscal year that ended June 30. That's an increase of roughly 5,000 riders from the previous year.
The increase means more revenue from tickets, which reduces the financial support required from the state. Ticket revenue was $5.4 million in the latest fiscal year, compared with $5 million the previous year.
Missouri is one of 13 states that will get federal grant money to improve road conditions.
As a part of the Everyday Counts initiative Missouri was granted $150,000 to implement new road technology to improve road safety. Travis Koestner, Assistant District Engineer at Missouri Department of Transportation, says this money will go towards a road re-surfacing project using High Friction Surface Treatment.
The Missouri Department of Transportation has a new chief engineer.
Transportation director Dave Nichols has tapped Ed Hassinger for the post. Hassinger was the department's top engineer for the St. Louis region for the last 12 years. He has been with the department for almost 30 years.
The collapse of a county highway bridge in southeast Missouri on Saturday was almost certainly not due to structural defects. And the fact that this collapse came on the heels of a similar disaster in Washington state is unfortunate but not necessarily related. Yet it's just a plain fact that bridges in Missouri are aging rapidly and are in serious need of repair.