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(AUDIO): Missouri Senate President predicts Senate passage of .8 billion I-70 plan

(AUDIO): Missouri Senate President predicts Senate passage of $2.8 billion I-70 plan

State Sen. Caleb Rowden (R-Columbia) speaks on the Missouri Senate floor in Jefferson City on May 12, 2022 (file photo courtesy of Harrison Sweazea at Senate Communications)

Missouri’s Senate President predicts his chamber will approve legislation from State Sen. Lincoln Hough (R-Springfield) to six-lane I-70 across Missouri. That would include through the Columbia area.

Senate President Pro Tem Caleb Rowden (R-Columbia) tells 939 the Eagle’s “Wake Up Mid-Missouri” the money is there to approve the $2.8-billion plan, adding that it’s the right thing to do.

“The moment that we’re in relative to having such a big surplus and having Jason Smith as chair of Ways and Means in DC and Congressman (Sam) Graves as chair of Transportation in DC, this is the year. I mean if we’re going to do something, we have to do it this year,” Rowden says.

Congressmen Smith and Graves both represent parts of mid-Missouri on Capitol Hill. Rowden and Hough both note Missouri has a record budget surplus.

“If you think about now, you know ten years from now, having a six-lane I-70 all the way across mid-Missouri, in addition to the rebuild and proper build of the 70-63 interchange, that money is already accounted for and is already going to happen. If you do those two things, that’s the ballgame for mid-Missouri,” says Rowden.

Under Senator Hough’s measure, the state would pay $132-million a year for 15 years to pay off the expansion.