Missouri Governor Mike Parson (R) believes that “imagination and necessity are changing transportation across this country” and that “bold solutions” will be needed to provide “safe, convenient, and accessible transportation options” for travel throughout the United States now and in the future.
“You can make a lot of things a priority, but if you make too many things a priority, then nothing is priority,” Gov. Parson (seen above) explained during a speech at the 2019 American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials annual meeting in St. Louis.
[Above photo by Cathy Morrison/MoDOT.]
“That’s why we’ve focused on infrastructure and workforce development here in Missouri – and that’s how we were able to pass a bonding bill to pay for repairing or replacing our aging bridges out of general [tax] revenue,” he said.
“The reality is, you can do all you want to improve your community, but if the infrastructure is not in place, people will not come to your community or your state,” Gov. Parson noted. “That is how critical infrastructure is to the future of our country. It provides an opportunity to live where you want to live; and you live there because of the infrastructure that is in place. That is part of something called the American dream.”
And those are not small concerns. For example, Interstate 70 alone carries about 100 million tons of freight worth over $154 billion across Missouri each year, according to an infrastructure grant application filed by the Missouri Department of Transportation in June.
“That’s why the people depend on all of us in this room today to make sure that gets done – and it starts with good infrastructure,” Gov. Parson said.
“And it is important for us to pass that down to the next generation. Think of those who came before us – they came up with the interstate system. And the same kind of people are sitting here among us today,” he pointed out.
“Our states and nation are facing times where we need to be better when it comes to transportation, but being your best is not what you need to do – what you need to do is make everyone else around you better,” Gov. Parson stressed. “That is how we will change infrastructure in this state and in this country.”