State Reps. Dale Wright (R-Farmington) and Rick Francis (R-Perryville) and officials from their districts gathered at the Missouri State Capitol last week to meet with Missouri Department of Transportation Director Patrick McKenna to discuss the economic impact of the aging Chester Bridge.
Officials from around the area of Perry and Ste. Genevieve Counties gathered to discuss how flooding has affected travel for both citizens and companies in the area, particularly companies relying on the bridge for the daily movements of their products and personnel. Representatives from some of those companies, including TG Missouri, Gilster Mary-Lee and Con Agra, were present for the meeting with McKenna.
Attending the meeting was: Mayor Ken Baer – Perryville; Presiding Commissioner Mike Sauer – Perry County; Associate Commissioner Jay Wengert – Perry County; Associate Commissioner Jim Sutterer – Perry County; City Administrator Brent Buerck – Perryville; EDA Director Scott Sattler – Perryville; Gilster-Mary Lee President Don Welge – Perry County; Gilster-Mary Lee Human Resources Rob Welge – Perry County; TG Missouri General Manager Rhonda Ruark – Perryville; SEMO RPC Director Jeremy Tanz – Southeast Missouri Region; Economic Development Direct Sandra Cabot – Ste. Genevieve; and Holcim Inc. Marcus Genova – Ste. Genevieve County.
“This last flooding and closing of the bridge cost an estimated $1.1. million to just those three companies,” Wright explained. “The Chester Bridge is one of many bridges throughout Missouri that needs to be replaced to better serve Missouri families, workers, and businesses.”
The Chester Bridge is not slated for replacing until 2026, however, and at the meeting, ideas and thoughts were shared as to how to expedite the replacement process.
Bobby Radford is a reporter for the Daily Journal. He can be reached at 573-518-3628, or at email@example.com.