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MODOT and Missouri Bridge Partners to continue to negotiate price tag of bridge repair project

By Marshall Griffin, KWMU

Jefferson City, MO – The Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission voted late Wednesday afternoon to continue negotiations with a group of contractors on a price to repair hundreds of aging bridges across the state.

But the commission is not yet ready to reward a contract to Missouri Bridge Partners, the coalition made up of several companies that will do the work.

MODOT Director Pete Rahn says both sides still have to come to an agreement on the cost of the massive project.

"Right now there's a substantial spread of several million dollars in annual payments...I can't yet disclose the actual dollar amounts involved," Rahn said.

Rahn hopes an agreement can be reached within the next month.

"In our opinion, we need to have a signed contract no later than the middle of February if we're going to be able to get mobilization and the contractor to work on bridges," Rahn said.

More than 800 bridges are to be repaired or replaced over a five-year period as part of the Safe & Sound Bridge Program.

The bridges then would be maintained by Missouri Bridge Partners over the next 25 years, with MODOT using some of its federal dollars to cover the cost.