Talent Discusses Plans for Missouri Highways
Republican Senator Jim Talent said that money means smoother roads lie ahead for Missouri.
"I think here what you are going to look for are new projects probably that have a big economic impact on the region," Talent said.
Talent talked with business leaders in Columbia to discuss his plans for Missouri highways. Talent said Missouri will see an additional $300 million for road improvements. The money comes from the highway bill signed into law this summer.
"Wherever the money is used in the state to relieve the state of having to pay for something it would pay for anyways, that frees up regular transportation dollars to the state," Talent said.
"It means that we can look at funding major projects in this state and encourage private investment in those projects," said Pete Rohn of the Missouri Department of Transportation.
Officials said with the economic growth in Mid-Missouri, it should see it's fair share of the money.
"If you look around Boone County and Columbia, obviously this is an area of tremendous economic development underway and you can think of a lot of projects around here that could have been done much sooner and at a much less cost if we'd had a tool like this available to us earlier," said Columbia's State Representative Ed Robb.
Talent said the state and MODOT don't know which projects they'll fund with the additional money, but he did say they would know by Spring. Talent said every billion dollars spent on highway improvements creates more than 47,000 jobs.