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Transportation officials want infrastructure improvements

Hundreds of people were in Jefferson City for this year’s annual Transportation Future Summit. (Mark Slavit/KRCG 13)

Some state officials and business leaders announced Thursday they believe a recently-released White House transportation proposal would have a huge impact on Missouri’s economy.

Hundreds of people were in Jefferson City for this year’s annual Transportation Future Summit.

The day-long summit brought together transportation stakeholders from across the state. Speakers discussed topics including electric cars, Missouri’s proposed Hyperloop train and upcoming changes at Missouri’s airports.

Executive Director of Transportation Infrastructure at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington, D.C. Ed Mortimer believed Missouri’s infrastructure would benefit from President Trump’s plans to improve transportation.

“We all have to figure out a way to invest in these infrastructures so that we can provide the economic benefits," Mortimer said. "We can have a good quality of life and we can continue to leave what our forefathers left us.”

Missouri Chamber of Commerce President Dan Mehan said Missouri’s infrastructure was outdated and needed huge improvements.

“We feel we are on the precipice of doing something significant that would benefit Missouri’s economy, Missouri’s infrastructure and it is something that is sorely needed,” Mehan said.

The White House transportation proposal would allow Congress to spend $1.5 trillion on partnerships between the public and private sectors and funding from state and local governments. Summit speakers said future transportation improvements would come at a cost. Congress was considering a 25-cent federal gasoline tax.

MoDOT Director Patrick McKenna said, “We have a really unique time now to make some policy moves in this state.”

McKenna supported the 25-cent federal gasoline tax proposal because he believed better infrastructure created a better economy.

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