Missouri’s Safe and Sound Improvement Program ended Thursday.  A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held for the Highway 11 Bridge north of Mendon.  Click to hear KMZU’s Sarah Scott speak with Highway Commission Chairman Rudy Farber:

Rudy Farber

The Safe and Sound program was completed two years ahead of schedule.  “These people have been able to put bridges together in record time,” said Farber, “That’s important to people when their bridges are closed and they’re having to go in a detour manner that costs them money in terms of gas and time.”

Northwest District Engineer Don Wichern said it is bittersweet to have the bridge over the BNSF Railroad in Chairton County open and running again.  Click to hear KMZU’s Sarah Scott speak with Wichern:

Don Wichern

“Because it’s the final one of an incredibly innovative, impressive program we just pulled off in the last 3 1/2 years,” said Wichern, “So I’m excited, I’m glad this one’s open, because we never like to keep them closed for too long, but I’m also sad that it’s the final one.”

Farber said now that the program is finished, MoDot only has the budget for maintenance on the state’s roads and bridges.

The Safe and Sound Program allowed for the repair or replacement of 802 bridges state-wide.