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County Commissioners Meet to Prioritize Off-System Bridge Needs

NEMO RPC-County commissioners from Adair, Clark, Knox, Lewis, Schuyler and Scotland counties were in Memphis on August 29th to review 16 applications for off-system bridge projects within the group’s borders and to prioritize those projects for federal funding under a newly approved BRO funding plan.

After years of receiving funding allocations at the county level, these leaders will now be asked to team up to make decisions at the MoDOT district level, where funds for the 17 counties in the Northeast District will be allocated by a newly formed Regional Bridge Committee, consisting of two voting members from each of the district’s three regional planning commission groups.

The RBC for the Northeast District approved a unique sub-allocation of the revenues, earmarking funding at the RPC level based on the percentage of federal BRO funds generated by each county. The counties of the Mark Twain COG, generate nearly 60% of the district’s annual BRO allocation based on the total square footage of poor bridge deck in those counties. NEMO RPC counties generate a little more than 32% of the funding, while Boonslick’s three counties are responsible for just shy of 8% of the annual funding.

The county commissioners from the NEMO RPC ranked the Lewis County bridge project on County Road 429 as the RPC’s top priority. With an estimated federal funding requirement of more than $1.5 million, the project likely will consume the RPC’s share of BRO funding for the FY2022 and and part of the FY2023 construction seasons.

The RPC’s second priority, a low water crossing at Rebel Run in Knox County, is programmed for FY2024 with an estimated price tag of more than $2 million that is programed for FY2024. Knox County Presiding Commissioner Evan Glasgow indicated the project’s actual cost could be significantly lower than the initial estimates, which could move other RPC projects up in programming.

Adair County’s Turkey Run bridge is currently slotted for FY2024 while a bridge project at Fox Pen Road in Schuyler County, and a low water crossing in Scotland County at County Road 963 are planned for FY 2025. Clark County has a bridge project on County Road 407, which is programmed for FY 2026 as part of the five-year district BRO plan currently being considered.

The Northeast District BRO program is projected to receive $3.9 million in funding in FY2022 and a little more than $4.1 million a year in FY2023 and FY2024, before annual allocations expand again in FY2025 and 26 to more than $5.6 million a year. The NEMO RPC counties sub-allocation of funds for FY2022 is estimated at $1.26 million, with $1.34 million a year in FY2024 and 25 and $1.83 million a year in FY2025 and 26.