Experts from around the country to mull new bridge today
By Maria Hickey, KWMU
St. Louis, MO – A group of national experts will gather in St. Louis today (Monday) and tomorrow (Tuesday) to create the latest study on the proposed Mississippi River Bridge.
Illinois and Missouri are at an impasse over how to fund the more than $1 billion project. In an effort to jump-start the process, the East-West Gateway Council of Governments approved bringing in outside to do analysis.
Executive Director Les Sterman says the ten experts are not expected to come up with a solution. "What they will try to do is sort of some of the conflicting factual information and try to clarify some of the choices we do have," Sterman said, in an interview.
Missouri has pushed for tolls on the bridge, but Illinois officials are opposed to the idea. The study will be submitted to the council January 31st.
Missouri and Illinois officials decided a bridge at St. Louis was needed 15 years ago. "We've tried to bring in people who really don't have any connection with this project previously, are not wedded to any particular solution and not beholden to any of the parties involved," Sterman added.