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 Eureka and Wildwood are classified as "deficient," according to the site, along with two more nearby in unincorporated St. Louis County.
In Wildwood, the bridges cited for repair are:
- Strecker Road at Caulks Creek
- Centaur Road at Wild Horse Creek
- St. Paul Road at Spring Creek
- Glencoe Road at Hamilton Creek
- Manchester Road at Fox Creek
- Fox Creek Road at Fox Creek
The Fox Creek Road bridge was reduced down to one lane in January of last year after state transportation officials found corrosion problems during a routine inspection. The city of Wildwood is actively seeking to secure state or federal grants to help fund its replacement.
In Eureka, the two bridges deemed deficient are each associated with the Union Pacific railroad line that runs through the area, specifically at Interstate 44 and Allenton Road.
Nearby in unicorporated St. Louis County, the website listed N. Outer 44 Road's (Old Highway 66) crossing over the Meramec River and Lewis Road's bridge over the previously mentioned railroad.
Four of these bridges are more than 80 years old. According to Transportation for America's data, the Manchester Road bridge was built in 1923, Allenton Road in 1928, Outer 44 in 1931 and Lewis Road in 1930.
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."