Columbia’s outgoing mayor says he can’t think of a larger generational investment than the $240-million new I-70 Rocheport bridge project.
A groundbreaking ceremony for the massive project took place in October.
“None of us can remember when that bridge was built in the 1950s. It’s well beyond its useful life,” Mayor Brian Treece says.
The current deteriorating bridge was completed in 1960. Four-million trucks cross the I-70 Rocheport bridge each year. Mayor Treece worked closely with U.S. Sens. Roy Blunt and Josh Hawley (R-Missouri) and U.S. Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-Harrisonville) to secure an $81-million federal grant for the project.
Mayor Brian Treece notes trucks that cross the I-70 Rocheport bridge are in 48 different states within 48 hours.
“I think it’s going to protect Columbia and mid-Missouri’s logistical asset for the rest of the country. And the number of trucks that come across that bridge either delivering goods and services to Columbia, or exporting Columbia’s goods and services to the rest of the world I think is going to be a real game changer,” says Treece.
Mayor Treece has noted that Oscar Mayer hot dogs are made here in Columbia, and those products cross the Rocheport bridge. The $81-million federal grant is the largest competitive grant ever received by the state Department of Transportation (MoDOT).
The new bridges are expected to be completed by December 2024.