House Passes Legislation on Bridge Repair

JEFFERSON CITY, MO - The Missouri House passed legislation that could speed up the repair of 800 bridges around the state.

The 135-14 vote sends the bill to the Senate, where Missouri's special legislative session will continue next week.

The Missouri Dept. of Transportation wants to award one massive contract to repair the bridges over the next five years and to maintain them for an additional 25 years.

But it has been unable to do so because contractors can't get a performance bond large enough to insure their work.

The legislation is intended to get around that glitch.

Sponsoring House member Neal St. Onge says he hopes the bill will allow the highway department to award a contract this fall, so the bridge repairs can begin in early 2008.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)