Northern Missouri Congressman Sam Graves of Tarkio

Northern Missouri Congressman Sam Graves of Tarkio

(Washington) -- Federal funding is boosting two major infrastructure projects in northwest Missouri.

Northern Missouri Congressman Sam Graves, the incoming ranking member of the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, announces that the city of Maryville will receive a $10.4 million grant through the Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development--or BUILD--program. Speaking on KMA's "Morning Line" program Friday morning, Graves says the BUILD program provides grant money for major transportation projects.

"Communities, or municipalities, or counties--whatever the case may be--they submit their applications," said Graves. "Then, we go through the process, and the Department of Transportation selects those grants based on need, and based on the priority for trying to do these various things all over the country. It replaced what we used to do in committee when Congress made that decision."

Graves says Maryville's BUILD grant will fund the South Main Corridor Improvement Project.

"They're going to be replacing or redoing the south side of their main street," said Graves. "(There's) a lot of congestion--in fact, it's very, very bad the congestion that happens on the south end of town. We're going to be able to fix that. It's something we've been working on for a couple of years now. So, we're very pleased that the Department of Transportation decided to issue that."

Another BUILD grant recipient is Kansas City, which receives $25 million for the Buck O'Neil Bridge Project. Graves says the grant kick-starts the much-needed replacement of the bridge leading into downtown Kansas City.

"It's a bridge that's been needing repair," said Graves. "It's needed fixing for some time now. It's one of the major thoroughfares into downtown Kansas City. A lot of people from the northland use it to get into Kansas City for work. This has been needed for some time."

The Tarkio Republican says he's excited about Kansas City receiving the grant.

"We're going to pair that money that we've got--it's the largest amount of money that you can get through a BUILD grant," he said, "or, was eligible for the bridge, and we'll pair that up with the Missouri Department of Transportation to finally get some work done on that bridge. It's going to take a couple years to do--which is great congestion, in itself. But, when it's finished, it's going to open that up quite a bit. So, we're very happy with that one, as well."

Congress made $1.5 billion available for the BUILD grants earlier this year. You can hear the full interview with Sam Graves on our "Morning Line" page at kmaland.com.