|JEFFERSON CITY -- Representatives from the Missouri Transportation Development Council (MTD) were on hand June 30, 2006, in St. Louis as Gov. Matt Blunt signed into law legislation that creates the “Missouri Public-Private Partnership Transportation Act.” House Bill 1380 allows the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission to contract with a private developer to finance, develop and operate a bridge located in the City of St. Louis which would connect Missouri and Illinois. Prior to signing the bill, Gov. Blunt acknowledged the important contributions made by MTD in passing this landmark bill.
"A new river bridge in St. Louis will benefit our entire state through commerce, tourism, safety and positive environmental results,” said Jim Kistler, executive vice president of Associated Industries of Missouri (AIM) and executive director of MTD, which is an affiliate of AIM. “MTD supported HB 1380 because the new bridge is crucial to improving Missouri’s infrastructure and expanding the state’s economic development.”
MTD is a grassroots coalition dedicated to improving Missouri’s multi-modal transportation infrastructure, enhancing the state’s economy and increasing safety for Missouri’s motoring public. MTD works in partnership with the Associated Industries of Missouri, and is affiliated with the Missouri Highway Corridor Coalition and the Missouri Federal Transportation Alliance.
Analysis by the Missouri Department of Economic Development shows a 16 to 1 return on investment for this project. As part of this legislation, the Highway Commission will be allowed to impose user fees or a “toll” to assist with funding this project.
“Toll roads and bridges have been very successful in other states, and here in Missouri anyone who does not want to pay a toll would have other options,” said Kistler. “A new bridge paid for by users benefits everyone. Even those who choose to drive on the existing free bridges would benefit from reduced traffic congestion.”