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Blunt signs legislation for public-private bridge

By Matt Sepic, KWMU

St. Louis, MO – Missouri Governor Matt Blunt Friday signed legislation that lets the state enter into a public-private partnership to build a new Mississippi River bridge at St. Louis.

Blunt says the plan may, but not necessarily, involve charging tolls to drivers. Tolls are something Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich says is out of the question.

Blagojevich wants to build a less expensive four-lane bridge for I-70 to be used along with the Martin Luther King Bridge. But Governor Blunt says that plan is short-sighted.

"We need a long-term solution to the problem," Blunt said. "We don't need a short-term solution that only really alleviates the issue for two or three years."

A proposed eight-lane bridge would cost $900 million.

The feds would cover a quarter of that. Both governors say they're willing to negotiate over how to cover the rest.

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