September 8, 2005

Community Development Block Grant Will Help County Replace 10 Bridges

The Bridges of Madison County was a famous love story centering around the historic covered bridges in that rural Iowa community. Fans of old bridges in Scotland County likely will be feeling similar affection for state government after the Missouri Department of Economic Development recently announced a $238,000 Community Development Block Grant for the county to replace 10 obsolete crossings.

Governor Matt Blunt announced the grant awards earlier this month as the state is prepared to distribute $2.2 million in grants for bridge, street or drainage projects in nine rural Missouri communities.

ďAccess to safe transportation routes is not only important to the safety and well-being of Missouri families, it is also a vital component in attracting good economic development opportunities,Ē Blunt said. ďWe are pleased to help provide funds that will help these rural communities address important infrastructure needs.Ē

The grants were approved through the Department of Economic Developmentís Community Development Block Grant Program, which is funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The grants are awarded in an annual competition, in which smaller Missouri cities and rural communities apply for CDBG funds to address critical infrastructure needs such as replacing deteriorating streets and bridges and reducing property and road damage due to poor drainage.

Each city or county will support these projects through local cash and/or in-kind funds.

Scotland County will fund approximately $26,000 in concrete, $62,000 in machinery, $13,400 in materials and $75,000 in labor on the 10 bridges. The CDBG will be used to purchase the steel bridge packages. The overall cost of the project is estimated at $397,800.

The county will be constructing three 60-foot long bridges, three- 40-foot long structures and another four bridges that will span 30-feet.

Three of the new bridges will be in the north part of the county. One bridge will be done just southeast of Crawford. Another is located off Route EE north of Brock and the third structure is located east of Azen.

Five of the new bridges will be located in the southwest part of the county near Bible Grove.

The final two new bridges will be installed southwest of the intersection of Route M and Route MM.

Applications for the various projects were prepared by local economic development agencies, including the Northeast Missouri Regional Planning Commission which did the legwork for two local grants. Schuyler County received a $177,500 CDBG to replace nine aging, one-way bridges.

The CDBG program provides economic development grants and loan funds to cities with a population under 50,000 and counties under 200,000 for projects that primarily benefit low- and moderate-income families. The bridge, street and drainage category provides funds for new construction or rehabilitation of any or all of these types of structures.

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