COMPLETED AS PROMISED: Governor Parson Celebrates Successful Focus on Bridges Program

DECEMBER 19, 2023

 — Today, during a ribbon-cutting ceremony in Jackson County, Governor Mike Parson celebrated the completion of his Focus on Bridges program that repaired or replaced 250 of the state's poorest bridges. Established in 2019, the Focus on Bridges program was one of Governor Parson's first major investments in transportation infrastructure. 

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 will officially reopen to motorists on December 22, just four years after the first bridge under the program opened on December 20, 2019, in Iron County.

"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,” Governor 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. Focus on Bridges is a bold, one-of-a-kind program that leveraged general revenue to make far reaching improvements to our infrastructure for the first time in generations. 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." 

The Missouri Department of Transportation is responsible for maintaining 10,424 bridges across the state, the sixth most in the nation. On average, these bridges are approximately 49 years old, 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.

“The completion of the Focus on Bridges program is an example of the progress being made to Missouri’s bridges and Governor 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.”

Governor Parson's Focus on Bridges program was truly innovative and was made possible through a $50 million appropriation from General Revenue as well as $301 million in bond revenue approved by the Missouri General Assembly in 2019.  Maintaining the state’s bridges helps provide a world-class transportation system that is safe, innovative, and reliable.

For a list of the projects completed under the Focus on Bridges program, click here.