WHEREAS, on Tuesday, November 27, 2007, an accident involving a commercial motor vehicle hauling a highly flammable liquid occurred on U.S. Route 54 in Jefferson City, Missouri. The accident caused the liquid to spill onto the above-mentioned highway and caught fire, severely damaging State Bridge No. A1308, more commonly referred to as the Jefferson Street Overpass, a bridge that is eligible to receive federal aid funds; and
WHEREAS, the severe damage to the Jefferson Street Overpass was caused by the extreme heat generated by the flammable liquid that caught fire on U.S. Route 54, which compromised the structural integrity, more specifically the reinforcing steel, of the Jefferson Street Overpass, resulting in the need to completely remove and replace the overpass. Repair of the overpass is not possible; and
WHEREAS, the loss of the Jefferson Street Overpass as a transportation link over U.S. Route 54 will have a very negative impact to the businesses and individuals in the immediate area. Such conditions constitute an emergency as is contemplated by the provisions in Title 23, United States Code Annotated, Sections 1209(e) and 125, respectively; and
WHEREAS, the safety and welfare of the motorists using U.S. Route 54 also has been compromised as a result of the severe damage to the structural integrity of the Jefferson Street Overpass; and
NOW THEREFORE, I, MATT BLUNT, GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF MISSOURI, do hereby declare that an emergency exists concerning the damage to the Jefferson Street Overpass and consequent danger to the traveling public if the overpass is not removed and replaced, which is vital to the security, well-being and health of the citizens of Jefferson City, Missouri, as well as all motorist that use U.S. Route 54 located underneath the Jefferson Street Overpass; and
FURTHER, I hereby request that the Federal Highway Administration, Division Administrator-Missouri, concur in this declaration of emergency; and
FURTHER, I direct that this Emergency Declaration shall become effective immediately upon signature and shall continue in effect until the Jefferson Street Overpass has been removed and replaced.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused to be affixed the Great Seal of the State of Missouri, in the City of Jefferson, on this 10th day of December, 2007.
[Matt Blunt's signature]
[Robin Carnahan's signature]
Secretary of State