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Parson touts bridge plan using I-70 as backdrop

Bridges throughout the state of Missouri are progressively deteriorating.

Twenty-two major bridges in the state are in poor condition.

Video playback of the event can be streamed in the player below.

According to the Missouri Department of Transportation, the average age of the bridges it maintains are 46 years old. Those bridges are designed to last 50 years, meaning 60 percent of the bridges are beyond their original intended life. Gov. Mike Parson visited Boone County, Cole County and Laclede County on Thursday to inspect bridges in poor condition as part of an effort to get support for a plan to repair bridges across the state using bond funds. Parson proposed a plan in his State of the State address to replace or repair 250 bridges in Missouri. Under the proposal the state would borrow $351 million in bonds to pay for the repairs and replacements.

MoDOT reports 922 bridges it maintains are in poor condition. Bridges are rated on a scale from 0 to 9. A rating of 4 or lower classifies a bridge as structurally deficient.

Boone County also has several bridges that are in need of repair or replacement. Boone County has 394 bridges. Sixteen of those bridges are structurally deficient, and 31 are functionally obsolete.

In Cole County, 26 of 458 are structurally deficient, and 49 are functionally obsolete.

Parson said that despite its scale, the bridge program would only provide a Band-Aid for a major problem facing the state.

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