JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri lawmakers on Tuesday voted to make grants available for potential builders of an ultrafast Hyperloop test track in the state.
House members in a voice vote gave initial approval to a bill that would make a 10-15 mile test track eligible for public-private partnership grants.
Hyperloop technology involves a tubular track through which a train-like pod carries passengers at speeds up to 640 mph.
Missouri supporters envision connecting Kansas City, Columbia and St. Louis with a system that could cut a roughly four-hour drive across the state down to a 30-minute commute. They're now advocating for a test track to be built in Missouri.
"It would bring in investment dollars from around the world to make Missouri an innovative state,” bill sponsor Rep. Travis Fitzwater told colleagues on the House floor.
It's not cheap. Some estimates have put the cost at $25 million to $27 million per mile, excluding land acquisition.
The bill debated Tuesday needs another vote of approval before it can go to the state Senate for consideration.
House lawmakers also tacked on a provision to prevent the use of eminent domain for the project, although Fitzwater said it's unlikely that it will be necessary to use eminent domain to build a test track.