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Unions, Highway Officials Call For Long-Term Infrastructure Package

Brian Kelly
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ST. LOUIS (KMOX)-As lawmakers in Washington continue their stalemate over competing infrastructure funding bills, local labor and highway officials are calling for some long-term investment to create jobs.

Eastern Missouri Laborers’ District Council Business Manager Gary Elliott says both the President’s and Republicans’ proposals are band aids, and what’s needed is a new highway bill.  He says it would be well worth the investment, “There’s somewhere upwards of a $1.59 return in economics for each dollar that we put into transportation. That’s what, a 50% return on investment? How can we not do that. You’re not just creating jobs. You’re creating jobs that have an impact on the economy and a sustainable economy.”

MoDOT District Engineer Ed Hassinger says what’s needed is a long-term, fully funded bill, “We don’t really care whose proposal it is we just want to make sure that we have something that we can make plans on going forward, because these projects take a long time.”

Hassinger says short-term fixes don’t help much, “It doesn’t allow us to plan. It doesn’t allow contractors to make commitments, they’re not buying equipment. These fits-and-starts don’t really help.”

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