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Capitol Briefs: Blunt leads bipartisan effort to aid rural bridges

  

U.S. Senator Roy Blunt introduced a bipartisan effort to allocate federal funds for the maintenance of rural bridges Tuesday. 

Blunt joined Pennsylvania Senator Bob Casey on the Support for Community Bridges Act, which would allocate additional funds for bridge maintenance to states with a high number of off-system bridges in poor condition. Off-system bridges are those not part of the National Highway System; they typically receive less federal support than those included in the system. 

“Repairing and upgrading our transportation network is especially important here in Missouri, where location is one of our biggest competitive advantages,” Blunt said. “I’m proud to join Senator Casey in introducing this bill to provide much-needed support to off-system bridges throughout Missouri, especially in our rural communities. This bill will ensure state and local governments get additional resources to modernize their infrastructure and create a stronger foundation for economic growth.”

  • The bill would allocate more than $1.2 billion to these bridges based on last year’s funding levels. 
  • Around 58 percent of Missouri’s bridges are off-system, with many of them located in rural areas.
  • The state’s roads and bridges have also been a focus of Gov. Mike Parson and the legislature. Around $90 million was appropriated for them in this year’s budget, and funds from a gas tax increase approved by the legislature would also go toward maintaining the state’s infrastructure.