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State representatives Dale Wright, R-Farmington, and Rick Francis, R-Perryville, along with officials from their House 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 their 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 Director McKenna.

Attending the meeting were Perryville Mayor Ken Baer, City Administrator Brent Buerck and EDA Director Scott Sattler; Perry County Presiding Commissioner Mike Sauer and associate commissioners Jay Wengert, and Jim Sutterer; Gilster-Mary Lee President Don Welge and Human Resources Director Rob Weige of Perry County; TG Missouri General Manager Rhonda Ruark of Perryville; SEMO RPC Director Jeremy Tanz, Southeast Missouri Region; Ste. Genevieve Economic Development Direct Sandra Cabot; and Holcim Inc.'s Marcus Genova of Ste. Genevieve County.

“This last flooding and closing of the bridge cost an estimated $1.1. million to just those three companies,” Rep. Wright said. “The Chester Bridge is one of many bridges throughout Missouri that needs to be replaced to better serve Missouri families, workers and businesses.”

While the Chester Bridge is not slated for replacement until 2026, ideas and thoughts were shared at the meeting as to how to expedite the replacement process.

For more information, call Rep. Wright’s office at 573-751-3455.

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