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MO-DOT to fix 800 bridges by 2012

By AP/KWMU

Columbia, Mo. – State officials say 800 of Missouri's worst bridges will be fixed over the next six years.

The Safe and Sound Bridge Improvement Plan allows a single contractor to both design and build the bridge upgrades as well as maintain the bridges for at least 25 years.

The estimated cost is between $400 million and $600 million.

Governor Matt Blunt and state transportation director Pete Rahn unveiled the plan Thursday in Columbia.

The state will tap federal highway money to pay the selected contractor about $40 million annually over the lifetime of the contract. That avoids a lump-sum payment and the sale of state-backed revenue bonds.

More than ten percent of the roughly 10,000 bridges on Missouri's state highway system are considered structurally deficient.

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