This is kind of an odd topic when you compare it to the usual e-newsletter that Congressman Graves writes. It is interesting and a little bit scary though. Read on to find out why. Missouri bridges in this week’s Straight Talk.
Local Bridges Essential to Missouri
Some of the earliest bridges were built by the Romans. They built simple arch bridges out of cement which held up in conditions that destroyed other bridges. In fact, some of the bridges built by the Romans are still standing and in use today.
Bridges are important here in Missouri. Our state shares its name with the longest river in the country. There are countless tributaries and streams across the state. While many rivers are both beautiful and a blessing, crossing them can be a challenge.
Across Missouri, there are some 13,000 local bridges that are used everyday to get children to school, speed emergency responders to the scene and get produce to market. Of those bridges, 1,700 are functionally obsolete and 2,500 are structurally deficient.
Congress has long set aside 15 percent of the money it sends to states to be used to fix these local bridges. For many county governments, this funding is essential to getting those bridges fixed. Without the help, many bridges would simply continue to deteriorate until they were closed.
That is why I was stunned to learn that some Washington bureaucrat thinks we should eliminate this vital program. Last year, over $20 million was spent to rehabilitate and improve local bridges. That investment has literally kept bridges open, saved lives and made life easier for thousands of Missouri families and farmers.
I am going to fight to keep this bridge replacement program in place. Local and rural bridges may not be important to Washington, but in Missouri, they are essential.