JEFFERSON CITY — Senators voted to change Missouri's highway construction law with the hope of tapping into additional federal stimulus money.
Legislation passed Wednesday by the Senate would give the Missouri Department of Transportation greater power to award design-build contracts for road and bridge projects.
Normally, the department handles the design and construction in separate phases. But design-build contracts allow them to be combined into a single contract. Highway officials say the arrangement can speed up work and save money.
Missouri law had limited the department to three design-build contracts. The bill, which now goes to the House, expands that to 3 percent of its annual projects.
State officials hope that could allow Missouri to more quickly start projects, potentially getting a greater share of federal dollars.