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.
Civil engineers say Missouri's infrastructure gets only a C-minus.
The regional chapters of the American Society of Civil Engineers released the letter grade Wednesday. It is part of a report card that evaluated the state's aviation, bridges, dams, drinking water, energy, inland waterways, levees, railroads, roads, schools and wastewater. Each sub-category also received a grade.
A proposed 1-cent sales tax for transportation has stalled in the Missouri Legislature.
The sales tax proposal was projected to generate nearly $8 billion over a decade for state highways, local roads and other modes of transportation such as railroads, airports, mass transit and river ports. Cities and counties would each get 5 percent of the revenues, with the rest going to state projects. Voters would have had to approve the tax in 2014 to enact the proposal.
The Missouri Department of Transportation reports that it's filled more than 10,000 potholes in central Missouri in the past month, as part 0f its "Missouri Pothole Patrol" program to address problems on roadways produced by the spring thawing. MoDot launched the pothole patrol in mid-march in an effort to fix Missouri potholes as soon as possible.
The program was in effect from March 18th to April 15th. Mo-Dot’s Sally Oxenhandler says that even though the department filled over ten thousand potholes, there is still work to be done.
For Earth Day, the Missouri Department of Transportation hosted its 11th annual “No MOre Trash! Bash. Department employees volunteered to pick up litter and debris along a stretch of Route 94 in Callaway "County. This year nine people showed up to spend a few off-the-clock hours taking care of Missouri’s roads.
The event is a way for MoDOT to highlight their Adopt-a-Highway program, where anyone can volunteer to maintain a stretch of roadway. District engineer David Silvester says he hopes raising awareness of the program will also get more volunteers.
The Missouri Department of Transportation has issued a travel advisory for the weekend because of anticipated snowfalls of up to three inches per hour that could make driving nearly impossible at times.
Rain is expected to turn to snow Saturday afternoon across the state, posing a risk for travelers because of the rate of snowfall and lack of visibility. The storm is expected to continue until about noon Sunday in the western part of Missouri and taper off across the state throughout the day.
The director of Missouri's Department of Transportation is taking a medical leave of absence and plans to resign his post.
The department announced Thursday that Kevin Keith's leave is effective immediately and he will resign July 1.
Chief engineer David Nichols will serve as interim director until the state Highways and Transportation Commission appoints a new director. Commission chairman Joe Carmichael says Nichols will remain interim director for at least one year.
The proposed constitutional amendment would create a one-cent sales tax that would expire after 10 years. It’s co-sponsored by State Senator Mike Kehoe (R, Jefferson City). He says the one-penny tax would not be levied on groceries, prescription medicine or fuel.