Missouri projected to see more bad bridges over next decade

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) _ The number of Missouri bridges in poor condition is expected to increase dramatically over the next decade as state funding declines.

State transportation commissioners were told Tuesday that Missouri currently has 600 bridges on state highways that are rated in poor or critical condition but are not in Missouri’s five-year plan for improvements.

State Bridge Engineer Dennis Heckman says that number is projected to rise to 1,000 within five years and 1,500 by 2024.

That comes as funding for highway and bridge construction contracts is expected decline sharply.

The state already has closed five bridges because of poor conditions. That includes one that was shut down last month in Macon County over the Thomas Hill Reservoir after a heavy vehicle cracked a hole in the deck.

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