Construction of the new Missouri River bridge at Washington will move forward as scheduled despite the fact that Missouri did not receive a Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant, according to Judy Wagner, MoDOT area engineer.
The TIGER grant would have given the state a two-year jump on construction of the Missouri River Bridge at Washington, Wagner said.
MoDOT still plans to open bids for the major construction project in September 2016 and begin construction by the end of that year.
MoDOT applied for $20 million in funding. MoDOT also applied for a $20 million grant for the bridge last year, but all the funds received went to the Joplin area which sustained major damage in a tornado.
Wagner expressed disappointment that the state did not receive a grant this year.
“We’re disappointed that we did not receive the grant. However, we’re excited that the project is still funded and we can still build the bridge in the next five years,” she said.
Wagner said she’s not sure if another round of infrastructure funding will be available or whether MoDOT would apply again because it already has had two unsuccessful attempts at securing a TIGER grant.
The decision, which would be made by MoDOT leadership, would depend on the amount of funding available, the timing, when the money would have to be spent and if there are other projects that would be more appropriate for the grant.
Wagner said she likely will know in the spring if an additional round of TIGER grants will be available.
Bob Zick, chairman of the Missouri Highway 47 Bridge Committee, also said he is disappointed that the state did not receive TIGER grant funding.
Zick noted that the grant funds would have hastened construction of the new bridge.
“We still have a fairly good schedule that’s been articulated by MoDOT that is going to meet the needs of the community,” he said.
The U.S. Department of Transportation received 585 applications from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, and Puerto Rico for the 2013 round of TIGER grants. The amount requested from all applicants totaled $9 billion. In all, 52 transportation projects in 37 states will receive a total of approximately $474 million in the TIGER 2013 discretionary grant program.
States that will receive funding include Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Virginia and Vermont.
Under the current timetable, the bulk of construction work on the new Missouri River bridge would be done in 2017 and the span opened to traffic in 2018.
The schedule calls for completion of all work items, including demolition and removal of the old bridge, in 2019.
Total cost of the project, including design and engineering work, is $60 million.