Dunklin County bridges in need of repair

Dunklin County bridges in need of repair

DUNKLIN COUNTY, MO (KAIT) - The Missouri Department of Transportation works to repair bridges listed in critical condition.

Dunklin County Area Engineer David Wymand said there are 10,000 bridges in the state and 2,200 of those are in the Southeast Missouri.

Wymand said they inspect bridges every other year and right now, 75 bridges in Dunklin County are listed in critical condition.

"We have about 6 on our primary system and the rest area on the supplemental system," said Wymand.

He said each county has a system of primary roads that focuses on inter-connectivity.

A large portion of the roads in county are known as supplementary, those roads are less traveled.

He said funding for these projects is critical right now.

"It's very disturbing because we are getting to the point where we're not going to have enough funding to take care of what we've got," said Wymand. "Our commission has designated a certain number of roads as primary and we have the money that we are going to take care of those."

Wymand said about $700 million is budgeted towards state construction projects and $78 million of that goes to the Southeast district.

He said the federal government provides a large portion of that money.

"They will provide roughly 80% if the state provides 20%," said Wymand. "Where Missouri is really going to have an issue is starting in 2017, we are not going to have enough state money to take advantage of all the federal funding that is available to the state of Missouri."

Wymand said if the state doesn't find a way to increase funding for MoDOT, Missouri stands to lose federal funding.

He said it takes more than $400 million to maintain the projects they have and that number is expected to keep decreasing over the next few years.

By 2017, they'll be down to $325 million.

"325 million dollars sounds like a lot but it's not enough to keep us treading water on an even keel," said Wymand. "You're going to see us continuing to do work over the next year, and then you'll start seeing it decline and decline further."

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