Executive makes broad infrastructure push in FY 2020 budget.
- Governor to rely on bond proceeds to fund infrastructure projects
- 922 of the state’s nearly 10,400 bridges are in “poor” condition
- State legislature must approve budget before any plan moves forward
Missouri’s governor plans to issue bonds in order to fund infrastructure development, but more is needed to address critical infrastructure needs.
Missouri’s Department of Transportation (MoDOT) could receive $351 million to begin immediate work on more than 250 bridges in need of critical replacement or repair if the state legislature approves Gov. Mike Parsons’ FY 2020 budget recommendations.
Parsons has made infrastructure development a cornerstone of his administration. His budget, in addition to providing funding for bridge development, also includes: $122 million for the expansion and operation of the Missouri National Guard’s Aviation Classification Repair Activity Depot (AVCRAD); $5 million in grants for rural broadband expansion; $4.9 million for state fairground development.
The governor’s office plans to issue bonds in order to support the projects. The state legislature however must review Parsons’ budget before it is implemented. A budget is typically adopted in April or May.
Roughly 922 of the state’s nearly 10,400 bridges are in “poor” condition, according to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). Moreover, about 60% of the state’s bridges have exceeded their planned 46-year lifespans.
MoDOT receives transportation some of its funding from its share of the federal 18.4- cent per gallon tax on gasoline and 24.4-cent per gallon tax on diesel fuel. That funding is supplemented by 17-cent per gallon state fuel tax, a 9-cent per gallon tax on aviation fuel and a share of vehicle and driver licensing fees, in addition to sales and use taxes on motor vehicle purchases and leases. However, the Association of Civil Engineers in 2018 estimated that it would take $4.2 billion to meet the state’s bridge infrastructure funding needs.
Neither Parsons’ office nor MoDOT immediately responded to questions regarding how the repair and replacement of the remaining bridges will be addressed. Notably, the state of Pennsylvania is currently replacing 588 of its bridges through its Rapid Bridge Replacement P3. A consortium comprised of Plenary, Walsh and Keystone Partners will design, build, finance, operate and maintain the roughly $1.1 billion project.