Obama's 'Fix it First' Program Would Mend 'Deficient' Chesterfield Bridges
In his 2013 State of the Union Address Tuesday, President Barack Obama touched on immigration policy, gun control and the economy, among other national issues. In terms of infrastructure, he proposed a "Fix it First" plan that may affect Chesterfield.
President Barack Obama proposed Tuesday night what he called a "Fix It First" program to address the nation's crumbling infrastructure—like roads and bridges—in an effort to improve citizens' quality of life and bring jobs to the United States.
"I propose a 'Fix-It-First' program to put people to work as soon as possible on our most urgent repairs, like the nearly 70,000 structurally deficient bridges across the country," he said during the State of the Union Address.
"And to make sure taxpayers don’t shoulder the whole burden, I’m also proposing a Partnership to Rebuild America that attracts private capital to upgrade what our businesses need most—modern ports to move goods; modern pipelines to withstand a storm; modern schools worthy of our children."
Many of the structurally deficient bridges Obama referred to are located in the St. Louis area, according to Transportation for America. The organization's campaign says coordinators are "eager to reform how we spend transportation dollars at the federal, state and local level to create a safer, cleaner and smarter transportation system that works for everyone."
Eight bridges in or near the borders of Chesterfield are categorized as "deficient", according to the site, however many are on schedule to be replaced. The list includes the well-traveled Daniel Boone Bridge that takes HIghway 40/I-64 over the Missouri River. The Missouri Department of Transportation recently began a major proect to tear down and rebuild that bridge's oldest span.
The Strecker Road bridge over Caulk's Creek was also listed as deficient, but MoDOT replace the structure in 2010.
Three of the structurally unsound bridges cross Creve Croeur Creek and are located at Timberlake Manor, S. Route 141 and Conway Road. Of those, the City of Chesterfield has reached an agreement to repair the Timberlake Manor bridge with work expected to start in 2014 while MoDOT recently finished building an entirely new stretch of Route 141 that included new bridges and interchanges.
Others include the ramp from Long Road to Highway 40 eastbound and the onramp from Chesterfield Airport Road to Highway 40 westbound, right before it crosses the Missouri River, which is scheduled to be torn down and replaced as part of the Daniel Boone Bridge project.
See the accompanying map for a look at other deficient bridges, which are indicated in red.
Overall, Missouri is one of the worst states when it comes to inadequate bridges, ranks 7th in the country with about 17 percent of all its bridges rated as such.
That may change if Obama has anything to say about it.
"Let’s prove that there is no better place to do business than the United States of America," he said Tuesday. "And let’s start right away."