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Boone County moves forward with Rocheport bridge project cost

Columbia and Boone County to pay $2 million each

MoDOT working on funding for I70...

COLUMBIA, Mo. - Boone County leaders are moving forward with a cost agreement regarding the Rocheport bridge project with the Missouri Department of Transportation.

MoDOT was awarded an $81 million federal grant in July to help pay for the replacement of the bridge, which is expected to cost $240 million.

Both Columbia and Boone County are slotted to pay $2 million for the new Interstate 70 bridge over the Missouri River. Boonville and Cooper county will pay $100,000 each. The Boone County Commission gave the agreement an initial public review Tuesday morning.

Boone County Presiding Commissioner Dan Atwill said MoDOT will have to pay to rest of the project cost after the federal grant and contributions from the cities and counties.

"The funds will be obtained through the mechanisms that MoDOT has, either by reallocating funding, or finding other sources of funds," Atwill said. 

MoDOT spokeswoman Sally Oxenhandler said the funding details are still being determined. She said some of the money will come from bond proceeds and money that has perviously been set aside for the project.

Oxenhandler said the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission authorized the department to apply for cost-share programs and apply for a loan from the Missouri Transportation Finance Corporation.

Atwill said Boone County's $2 million share will come from the road and bridge reserve fund. Assistant Public Works director Greg Edington said that $2 million may reduce the number of projects the department can work on, but that the bridge replacement is extremely important to Mid-Missouri. 

Atwill said a new bridge will help both the state and the nation.

"Merchandise that gets shipped over the bridge by truck goes within 72 hours to all states in the continental United States," Atwill said. "The bridge has a very significant role in transportation in the United States." 

The project will include a new six-lane bridge.

Construction is expected to begin in 2021, and Atwill said the new bridge is expected to open in 2022.

Commissioners will hold the second reading of the cost apportionment agreement for the bridge at Thursday's Boone County Commission meeting. 

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