State senator says Missouri infrastructure improvement must be a priority

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JEFFERSON CITY, MO (KTVI) – It’s no secret Missouri highways and bridges could use a makeover. State Senator Bill Eigel (R - District 23) says his House bill will fix the problem with no extra cost to taxpayers.

Senator Eigel says it’s easy to forget about how important our state transportation infrastructure is until it breaks down.

“What we don’t have is a long-reaching plan that’s going to fund our roads and make sure we do it without raising taxes and without having to get toll roads in Missouri,” Eigel said.

Interstate 70 and connecting roads and bridges are what Eigel sees as our state’s biggest concern. With a record $9.5 billion coming in each year to the general revenue fund and with more expected in the coming years, he says this is a simple fix of prioritizing.

“What I would like to do is take a portion of those funds over next 10 years and dedicate them to roadway infrastructure and rebuild I-70 over 10 years,” Eigel said. “It would amount to about a $2.5 billion investment.”

Eigel says if his bill passes, Missouri could also qualify for matching federal funds by doing this as well.

“Next year, you would see an infusion of $200 million a year next year, rising to about $300 million a year in year 10.”

With Interstate 70 cutting through the middle of our state, it gets heavy truck traffic. Eigel wants to make it a world class highway for years to come.

“Before we go back to people and say, ‘we need more money,’ we need to acknowledge we have the money to do it but we need to do a better job of prioritizing it,” he said.