The head of the House Transportation Committee wants the Governor to take quick action to jump-start a massive bridge repair program in Missouri. The state transportation department’s plans to repair or replace 800 bridges stalled when the legislature failed in May to make a simple change in state law.
House Transportation Committee Chairman Neal St. Onge of Ballwin says he asked the governor a few weeks ago to include the fix in any special legislative sssion he might call this fall. St. Onge says the Minneapolis Bridge Collapse underlines the need to change state law as soon as possible so the Safe and Sound Bridge Improvement Project can satart.
He says present law never envisioned a program involving 800 bridges with maintenance guaranteed for 25 years. He says a change of a few words will clear up questions about the bonds needed to get the project started.
St. Onge says the program is drawing national attention, but he does not know if it can survive months of delay before startup.
Although St.Onge is using the Minneapolis bridge collapse as leverage to get his bill considered in a special session, none of the 11 bridges in Missouri that use the same design as the Minneapolis bridge is in the department’s bridge improvement program.