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The Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) says it will cost $40-million to redesign and replace Jefferson City's aging tri-level (file photo courtesy of MoDOT spokeswoman Marcia Johnson)

(LISTEN): Efforts underway to try to obtain federal funding for Jefferson City tri-level project

U.S. Rep. Sam Graves (R-Tarkio) represents all or part of 39 northern Missouri counties (2023 photo courtesy of Congressman Graves’ website)

A powerful northern Missouri congressman who chairs the U.S. House Transportation Committee on Capitol Hill is trying to obtain federal funding to help replace Jefferson City’s aging tri-level.

U.S. Rep. Sam Graves (R-Tarkio) tells 939 the Eagle that he’s had conversations with Governor Mike Parson’s office about the project.

“Maybe some intrastate highway dollars that are out there. And that’s dollars specific to goods and services that pass from one state to the next on our federal highway system,” Congressman Graves says.

The state Department of Transportation (MoDOT) says rebuilding the tri-level will cost about $40-million, adding that the nearby Rex Whitton Expressway would also have to be rebuilt. That’s an additional $53-million. MoDOT central district engineer Michelle Watkins told “Wake Up Mid-Missouri” last week that MoDOT currently doesn’t have the funding for the two projects.

“It’s possible we might be able to make that work there too. But anyway we’re talking to the governor’s office about what the potential opportunities are,” Graves says, referring to intrastate highway dollars.

MoDOT says 86,000 vehicles a day come through the tri-level area, with three major highways converging in the same area. MoDOT says the tri-level bridges were built in 1964 and that the “flyover” bridges were built in 1991.

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