Is new sales tax needed to fund repair of Missouri roads and bridges?

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by Dan Greenwald / KMOV.com

KMOV.com

Posted on March 24, 2014 at 4:28 PM

Updated Monday, Mar 24 at 4:40 PM

(KMOV.COM) -  A Missouri House committee recently gave its approval to a proposed constitutional amendment for a one cent sales tax to pay for improvements to roads.

The proposed amendment comes at a time when many roads around Missouri are in need of repair. An example is the Rock Church Road Bridge in Warren County, where one truck driver told News 4 he is concerned about its safety.

"It used to be a horse and buggy bridge years ago, then became a traffic bridge , it needs repair wore out,” Melvin Seckfort said. “I will drive an empty truck over it but not a loaded pick-up.”

The bridge is considered “structurally deficient” and county officials said it would cost roughly $1 million to repair. Warren County has around six other bridges that need repair work and officials must decide which bridges will receive top priority.

"We have to look at the road count, the volume, the weight limits and locations and see which ones need to be replaced next and prioritize them," Warren County Presiding Commissioner Arden Eglelage said.

Eight percent of Warren County’s 91 bridges are considered deficient.  According to some estimates, 15 percent of the bridges in Missouri are in similar shape.

If the legislature approves the measure, it will go before Missouri voters.

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