The Mississippi County Highway Department's primary responsibility is the maintenance of 342 miles of county roads and 52 bridges in the county as well as various other associated responsibilities. From motor graders to backhoes to excavators, the Highway Department is well equipped with modern machinery to accommodate the demands of maintaining the county's infrastructure. Funding for the arduous and expensive task of road and bridge maintenance is through a property tax earmarked for the Road & Bridge fund along with funding provided via the State of Missouri, i.e. gasoline taxes, motor vehicle sales taxes, etc., funding which is pro-rated to the several counties and municipalities in the state.
Mississippi County, being an agriculturally oriented county, has extensive use of its rural roadways. It is of vital importance to adequately maintain the rural infrastructure of the county to accommodate the "lifeblood" of the county, the agricultural producers.
The Highway Department's annual road maintenance program consists of repaving and sealing of selected asphalt roads; patching of deteriorated paved roadway surfaces; the addition of red clay gravel, limestone rock, or silica rock to the unpaved roadways.
The Highway Department embarked on an aggressive bridge replacement program in the 90's and has continued this program to the current date in order to eventually eliminate the county's bridges deemed structurally obsolete or structurally deficient. This program has been accomplished through both local funding and the federal OFF-System Bridge Replacement program, a program that provides 80% of the cost of a qualifying bridge replacement. With the farm-to-market transportation load demands, the county is striving to attain its goal of having 100% of the county's bridges rated to accommodate the maximum load limits allowed by law.
In addition to the routine road and bridge maintenance provided by the department, it also provides services to the several drainage districts in the county. Through the use of hydraulic excavators, the county has the capability of cleaning the flow-way of a ditch and to mow the ditch banks. With Mississippi County's flat topography, drainage is of vital importance and the county has an aggressive ditch maintenance program that has drastically improved the drainage in the county.
Mississippi County is proud of its reputation of being a "cooperative good neighbor." The county has, on many occasions, come to the aid of the Missouri Department of Transportation and the several local municipalities to assist in a myriad of projects relating to highways of drainage.