Deteriorating infrastructure impacts freight movement. Both Missouri and Illinois received a C minus in recently released reports providing a state-by-state breakdown on the condition of roads and bridges. Missouri’s grade reveals 2,190 bridges and more than 7,576 miles of highway are in poor condition. In Illinois, 2,374 bridges and more than 6,218 miles of highway are rated in bad shape.

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Every year with the help of public and private partners, we identify infrastructure improvements needed to support and boost freight movement in the St. Louis region. The newly announced St. Louis Regional Freightway’s 2022 Priority Projects List includes 21 projects in the bi-state region totaling $2.75 billion. Of those, $1.1 billion are under construction or soon to be. Among the projects highlighted on the new list is the proposed grade separation project on Illinois Route 3 over the A&S railroad in southwestern Illinois as one that would improve truck traffic reliability, safety and efficiency benefiting barge and rail rates.

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Other projects on I-70 from Route 141 to I-170 near St. Louis Lambert International Airport, and the Norfolk Southern Railroad Bridge in Wentzville, would address extended travel times negatively impacting the region’s highest growth industrial parks. Similarly, work on Hall Street from Adelaide Avenue to Riverview Drive will help improve freight velocities in St. Louis.

While more infrastructure improvements needed, we must not overlook the progress being made in our region. The collaborative Freightway model can help support future infrastructure investment in both states.

Mary Lamie St. Louis Regional Freightway

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