JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Local entities can now apply to have the state share in the construction costs of public road and bridge projects.
In a Transportation Cost-Share Program, the state is set to put $50 million towards local projects which satisfy a “transportation need” and expected cost more than $200,000. The application window is open through Oct. 1.
“This program offers an exciting opportunity for Missouri to advance both transportation and economic development,” Gov. Mike Parson said in a statement. “We commend our legislators for supporting this economic development tool that will turn infrastructure investments into Missouri workforce investments.”
The program will match up to 50 percent of the construction contract costs of selected projects. Projects will be selected based on economic impact, applicant’s share of total project costs, transportation need (including impacts to the state highway system), and public benefit.
The Cost-Share Committee — which will select projects — will consist of Missouri Department of Economic Development staff along with the Missouri Department of Transportation‘s chief engineer, chief financial officer, assistant chief engineer, and two director-appointed employees. The committee will present selected projects to the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission for approval.
The funds for the cost-share program were appropriated from general revenue by the General Assembly for FY 2020, which began July 1. The cost-share program guidelines, application, and rating matrix are available on MoDOT’s website.
Since a proposed gas tax increase failed at the ballot in November 2018, state officials started looking for alternatives to fund repairs to Missouri’s “crumbling” transportation infrastructure system. The cost-share program was just one of the proposed funding mechanisms.
With approval from legislators, the state is bonding more than $300 million to repair or replace hundreds of other bridges.
The bonding was triggered when Missouri was awarded an $81.2 million Infrastructure For Rebuilding America (INFRA) grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation to replace the I-70 Missouri River Bridge at Rocheport.
The bonding will be repaid out of the general revenue over a seven year period. It’s predicted to cost about $46 million per year and included an additional $50 million allocated from the general revenue to “jump start” the projects.
Alisha Shurr was a reporter for The Missouri Times and The Missouri Times Magazine. She joined The Missouri Times in January 2018 after working as a copy editor for her hometown newspaper in Southern Oregon. Alisha is a graduate of Kansas State University.