Transportation_2
Issue Background

Transportation

St. Louis Region

Transportation networks are an essential component of economic stability and job growth. The Chamber supports strategic investments to modernize and strengthen our regional infrastructure systems, leverage our location, enhance our multi-modal capabilities, and facilitate the movement of goods and people within the region and throughout the world. We therefore support the creation and renewal of policies, incentives and funding to enhance the bi-state region’s logistics, distribution and transportation infrastructure capabilities, including roads, bridges, railways, ports and airports, with an emphasis on cargo terminals and global competitiveness. 

Highway Trust Fund

The Highway Trust Fund (HTF) is the primary transportation fund in the United States that receives money from a federal fuel tax and related excise taxes. In December 2015, Congress passed a 5-year transportation bill that keeps the HTF afloat, however it is subsidized through nontraditional funding sources and still needs a reliable way to sustain funding beyond 2020. The Chamber promotes finding a more permanent solution to keep the HTF solvent and increase Missouri transportation funding that goes beyond maintenance levels to allow for improvements.

Missouri

Following years of inaction, Missouri is closer than ever to a transportation crisis. Without a new funding plan, a majority of Missouri’s roads will face deteriorating conditions. Even more bridges may have to close.  The state needs $160 million dollars in new state funding to maintain the existing highway network, make progress on bridge conditions and reinstitute the cost-share program to encourage transportation projects that foster economic development. Transportation planners must be able to rely on a consistent level of funding due to the lengthy planning, permitting and construction process.

Illinois

Transportation infrastructure in Illinois is in desperate need of repair. If there are no significant investments in state transportation funding, 1 in every 3 miles of roads, and 1 in every 10 bridges will be in unacceptable condition by 2018. 

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In the St. Louis Region:

  • Champion transformational projects that improve the transportation infrastructure for our entire region, with a particular focus on transit and connecting workers to jobs
  • Support policies and increased funding for Metro and other regional transit authorities that promote effective and sustainable system operations, enable a favorable return on investment, and address economic equity
  • Support the implementation of the Regional Freight District action plan to leverage growth in this critical industry sector, including rail, river and air cargo
  • Support federal and state funding for a high-speed rail corridor from St. Louis to Chicago, improved service between St. Louis and Kansas City, and improvements to railroad bridges and related facilities that will enhance passenger and freight service for our region

In Missouri:

  • Promote efforts to provide adequate transportation funding in Missouri, working with regional and statewide partners.

In Illinois:

  • Encourage efforts to ensure adequate transportation funding in Illinois, including the work of the Transportation for Illinois Coalition, with emphasis on the Southwestern Illinois Transportation Enhancement Site (SITE) initiative to drive regional economic growth by enhancing multi-modal infrastructure assets
  • Support Scott Air Force Base’s growth and status as a transportation and cyber center of excellence and ensure this critical regional employer remains competitive to attract new squadrons and missions