Jefferson City, MO – Continued budget troubles have forced another round of cuts to state government.
Governor Holden says he has ordered $60 million of cuts to state agencies. The savings will come from leaving vacant positions open and reducing expenses for travel, equipment and professional contracts.
Budget director Linda Luebbering says the cuts will force agencies to operate on bare essentials. It also means almost no new state employees will be hired through the June 30 end of the fiscal year.
St. Louis, Mo. – The two lanes on the eastbound Blanchette Bridge that were closed this week are now open. The Missouri Department of Transportation closed the lanes when it found cracks on a support beam under the bridge.
The agency is also stepping up efforts to reinspect all bridges over the Missouri and Mississippi rivers to look for damage, possibly the result of the fluctuating temperatures in recent weeks.
The agency is adding an inspection team in hopes of looking over its 36 major river bridges within three months.
St. Louis, MO – MO-DOT says commuters should consider avoiding the Blanchette Bridge. Two lanes on the eastbound bridge will be closed for several weeks because crews Tuesday found five cracks on the structure.
But MO-DOT's Mike Fitzpatrick says the bridge is safe. "If it wasn't safe, they'd have closed the whole bridge," Fitzpatrick said.