The Senate Transportation Committee has passed and sent to the full Senate a bill that would allow for a new private toll bridge to be built in downtown St. Louis to carry Interstate 70 over the Mississippi River. Senator Bill Stouffer of Marshall, the Committee Chairman, says it would allow a private company to invest in the bridge, which would be leased to the private contractor. During the lifetime of the lease, the private contractor could collect toll money. Stouffer says since it is an additional bridge, drivers will have the choice of whether to use the toll bridge. Illinois transportation officials have categorically rejected the idea of the bridge being a toll bridge. Stouffer says if that becomes a deal stopper, it’ll be Illinois’ choice.
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