Governor Parson started Infrastructure Week with two stops in Columbia and a visit in Jefferson City Monday.
The governor said he hoped voters would pass a gas tax increase on the November ballot for road and bridge improvements. Parson also had several other infrastructure improvements he hoped would happen including technological improvements.
“When you start talking about infrastructure, you are talking about broadband. It’s not always about highways and bridges,” Parson said. “It’s about utilities and water and all kinds of infrastructure in place all over the state of Missouri.”
Parson said he would spend Infrastructure Week supporting Proposition D and higher gas taxes.
“How they vote will be up to the individual voter. When you look at Missouri and we haven’t done anything for the transportation system for more than two decades, 20 years, and we’ve added 6,000 miles of new highway systems since that time,” he said. “You just can’t keep kicking that can down the road and expect it to get better. It’s important for me to go out and make sure that the people of Missouri know what we are facing and know what those issues are and let them decide at the ballot box what they want.”
Associated Industries of Missouri (AIM) and the Missouri Transportation and Development Council are also backing Proposition D and the modest increase in fuel taxes.
“We have taken all the right steps: increasing efficiency and reliability at the Missouri Department of Transportation, stopping the diversion of funds, maximizing the use of current revenues to bond longer term projects, etc.,” said Ray McCarty, president and CEO of AIM. “Now, the people of Missouri need to authorize additional money for transportation so we can fix our failing bridges and crumbling highways. Some of our bridges won’t support fire trucks, school buses, or heavy trucks anymore. We need to be proactive and fix our road infrastructure before we have a catastrophic event, such as an overpass or bridge collapse, as other states have experienced,” he said.