MoDOT Claims St. Louis Area Bridges Completely Safe

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI)-- Last night's collapse of a bridge over a river on Interstate 5 in Washington State appears to have been caused by an over sized truck that slammed into a bridge support beam.

That's according to accident investigators. A segment of the bridge then collapsed into the Skagit River taking two cars with it. Three people were rescued.

Amazingly, no one was killed or seriously injured.

That bridge, built in 1955, was rated as structurally obsolete.

The Federal Highway Administration says one out of every eight highway bridges in the US is structurally deficient.

And the American Society of Civil Engineers earlier this week sounded the alarm about crumbling infrastructure around the United States.

So how do roads and bridges around here stack up?

The engineers report says over 27 percent of Missouri’s bridges are either deficient or obsolete. But despite huge budget cuts, MoDOT claims the bridges in the St. Louis region are completely safe.

From the interstate bridge collapse in Washington State, to the Minneapolis interstate bridge collapse five years ago that killed five people, to rotting bridges in cities and towns across America and across Missouri, the infrastructure needs work.

MoDOT maintains the major highway bridges. And they claim those bridges are all safe.

But in the past few years, MoDOT's budget has been slashed by 40 percent.

That's because Missouri lawmakers refuse to consider any taxes to keep roads and bridges repaired. A temporary one cent sales tax hike to fix them died in the legislature because five senators blocked it, led by St. Louis County State Senator John Lamping.

And because of ideology, Missouri’s roads and bridges are slowly crumbling away.

A study three years ago by the non-profit group, Transportation for America, listed Missouri’s bridges as the seventh worst in the country.

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