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JEFFERSON CITY – Senator Wes Shoemyer, D-Clarence, has been appointed to the Senate Transportation Committee, which will consider several important pieces of legislation this session. Some of the bills slated to come before the committee this year include legislation to prohibit drivers from sending text messages, a bill to require seatbelts, a bill giving motorcyclists the option of wearing a helmet, and legislation designed to expand the ability of MODOT to award design-build contracts for major road and bridge projects.

“Transportation is a huge issue in northeast Missouri as we try to position the region to become a major economic hub,” Sen. Shoemyer said. “One of the challenges we face includes completing the work of repairing or replacing our bridges.”
The Missouri Department of Transportation launched the Safe & Sound Bridge Improvement Program to improve 802 of the state’s lowest-rated bridges by Oct. 31, 2014.

So far, 248 bridges have been identified for rehabilitation, and at least 100 of those will be under construction in Spring 2009. In northeast Missouri, 11 bridges will be resurfaced this year. They are being put out for bid in groups according to location, type or size to expedite the design and construction process.

The other 554 bridges are scheduled for replacement and have been packaged in a single Design-Build contract. Fifty-three bridges will be replaced in northeast Missouri once bids are solicited and contracts are signed.

For more information about the bridges scheduled to be renovated in northeast Missouri, visit and click on the “Safe & Sound Online Map.”

“It’s also good to have a member of the Transportation Committee who supports farm-to-market roads and who knows the importance of keeping the maintenance sheds operating,” Sen. Shoemyer said. “MODOT has promised to keep our rural roads passable and safe and that can’t be done if these maintenance sheds are shut down.”
Sen. Shoemyer says the committee also needs to continue promoting a multi-modal transportation system in Missouri by ensuring our roads and bridges, railroads, ports and airports are modern, efficient and safe.

Sen. Shoemyer was appointed to the Senate Transportation Committee to fill the vacancy of another member who relinquished his seat because it conflicted with other committee assignments.