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MODOT chief skeptical of bridge study

This computer rendering shows what a new Mississippi River bridge might look like.

By Maria Hickey, KWMU

St. Louis – A new study of the proposed Mississippi River Bridge urges compromise, but MODOT's director is skeptical of some of the findings.

The study, put together by 10 national transportation experts, was released Wed by the East-West Gateway Council of Governments.

The study concluded that tolling would likely fall short of filling the funding gap to pay for the bridge, producing only about a quarter of the more than $1 billion needed.

But MODOT Director Pete Rahn is not convinced.

"The first impression I have of the report, however, is that I believe they undervalue the potential of a public-private partnership and what that can produce to fill a funding gap for a new Mississippi Bridge."

Missouri officials have pushed for tolling, saying they have no other way to pay for their share of the bridge.

But state officials in Illinois, which has pledged $210 million for the project, have said tolls are unacceptable.

The East-West Gateway Council will hold a special meeting on February 21 where members might vote on a recommendation.


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