Bridge bonding resolution passes in final hours of session
May 17, 2019 – The Missouri House of Representatives has passed SCR 14, sponsored by Senate President Pro Tem Dave Schatz and handled in the House by Rep. Becky Ruth, Chairwoman of the House Transportation Committee by a vote of 107-31. Associated Industries of Missouri (AIM) and the Missouri Transportation and Development Council (MTD) support the bonds. Proceeds, approximately $301 million, would be joined with current revenues and federal grant money and used to repair 215 of the most dangerous bridges across Missouri.
“Associated Industries of Missouri and the Missouri Transportation Development Council support this concurrent resolution that would allow for the replacement of many bridges across Missouri,” said Ray McCarty, president and CEO of Associated Industries of Missouri and executive director of the Missouri Transportation and Development Council. “Transportation is vital to Missouri business and our companies’ ability to compete in a global economy.” Ray McCarty, Executive Director, MTD and president/CEO, AIM
During final House debate, several Representatives spoke of bridges literally crumbling around the state. Many, including Rep. Greg Razer, also reiterated the fact this is not a permanent solution to Missouri’s transportation funding problems. He and others indicated their hesitancy to support the resolution for fear people will believe the problem has been fixed, but he implored other members to come back next year and work on a more permanent solution to all our transportation funding problems. Others said the bonds will serve as a temporary measure to fix the most critical bridges that are currently very dangerous.
Loss of the use of a bridge can affect more than just commerce when large trucks can no longer safely cross them. Failing bridges affect fire safety if fire trucks cannot cross the bridge, school transportation if unsafe for school buses, and health care if unsafe for ambulances. There are areas of the state that have been closed to heavier vehicles, including these types of vehicles.
McCarty previously informed the House Transportation Committee that MTD was formed initially as the “Good Roads Federation” in the 1920’s to pass Missouri’s first $60 million transportation bond issue in a campaign to “Get Missouri Out of the Mud.” To support the campaign, the organization sold radiator tags at $2 each. The bond issue was successful. He said MTD’s commitment to finding funding for transportation improvements continues today.
Article dated Aug. 25, 1920