Missouri scraps private financing for bridge projects

Thursday, September 18, 2008 | 3:31 p.m. CDT

JEFFERSON CITY — Credit market troubles have caused Missouri to scrap a privately-financed plan to fix 802 of the state's worst bridges.

The Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission decided Thursday to instead issue its own bonds to build the bridges.

A plan outlined two years ago would have awarded a single contract to finance, design and build the bridges within five years and then maintain them for an additional 25 years. The state would have made annual payments to the contractor.

But after the Missouri Legislature authorized the plan in a special session last year, the credit market crunch started driving up the costs of the private financing.

Transportation officials say the state will save $300 million to $500 million by financing the bridge itself.


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