Missouri has more than 900 bridges listed in poor condition. Gov. Mike Parson’s budget proposal calls for borrowing $350 million to fix 250 of the state’s bridges. During a budget hearing at the Capitol in Jefferson City, Sen. Bill Eigel, R-Weldon Spring, says Missourians would pay for more than $350 million.
“We’re not just indebting ourselves to the $350 million,” he says. “There’s going to be another $100 million of interest we’re going to have to pay over the next 15 years.”
Missouri Transportation Director Patrick McKenna says the agency’s five-year bridge repair plan includes weigh-restricted and poor conditioned bridges.
“Annually, about 100 more bridges come into this category because of age and condition,” he says.
Eigel questions the list of bridges chosen for repair.
“Of 250 bridge projects, St. Louis city, St. Louis County and St. Charles County, which represents about one-third of the population of the state, three of them are in those three areas,” Eigel says. “So, I think there’s some real imbalances at this point in the list.”
Sen. Bob Onder, R-Lake St. Louis, has echoed the same concern. McKenna says Eigel’s eastern Missouri district, which is St. Charles County, does not have poor conditioned bridges.
Legislative approval is required for the plan. Hearings are underway to consider the governor’s budget proposal for the fiscal year beginning in July.
Copyright © 2019 · Missourinet