Blunt, Long lead bill expediting construction of Missouri bridge to congressional approval

The House approved legislation on Monday championed by Missouri Republicans U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt and U.S. Rep. Billy Long to replace a 100-year-old bridge in Ozark, Missouri, that has been closed for five out of the last seven years.

The bill, which the Senate approved last month, would speed up the construction of a new bridge next to the existing Riverside Bridge by striking deed restrictions prohibiting new construction in the area. The bill now moves to President Donald Trump’s desk for his signature.

“Flood related closures of the Riverside Bridge have, for years, disrupted the lives of those who live and work in the Ozark community,” Blunt said. “By removing one of the biggest obstacles preventing this project from moving forward, the bill helps pave the way for a new, reliable travel route across the Finley River. Strengthening Missouri’s infrastructure is a top priority of mine, and I look forward to seeing this bill signed into law.”

Long said House passage of the bill brought the Riverside Bridge project a step closer to reality.

“The residents of Christian County have had to deal with the burdens of this broken bridge for several years due to flood damage, but federal restrictions on land adjacent to the bridge have prevented any solution,” Long said. “This bill eliminates those restrictions to clear the way for a new, safer Riverside Bridge that will again serve as an important artery connecting north and south Ozark.”