Missouri bridge construction is first stimulus project under way

TUSCUMBIA, Mo. | Construction crews began work on a replacing a rural Missouri bridge just minutes after President Barack Obama signed a $787 billion stimulus package.

The Missouri bridge project was expected to be the first in the nation to get started under the stimulus plan. Missouri transportation officials met at the bridge Tuesday and quickly approved its replacement as a way of showing that infrastructure expenditures can have an immediate economic effect.

The 1,000-foot bridge crosses a Missouri River tributary about 30 miles southwest of the state Capitol. It was built in 1933. It was closed to large trucks in 2007 because of structural concerns.

The Missouri Department of Transportation also planned to begin work Tuesday on three other projects.