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MODOT vows to complete I-64 project on budget

By Kevin Lavery, KWMU

St. Louis, MO – A report by the East-West Gateway Council of Governments found that when annual inflation rates were factored in, the $535 million allocated for the 12-mile rebuild would not cover what was originally proposed.

Missouri Department of Transportation district engineer Ed Hassinger says he doesn't characterize the project as scaled back...but insists the key design elements will be included.

"We will build the project that meets the need for the money that's been allocated," Hassinger said. "We're going to use this process that we put in place and get the project that we need. So I'm confident that that's going to happen.

The council's executive director, Les Sterman, said inflation rates could drive the cost overbudget.

"The price of concrete and steel is going up, and we're concerned about that, and what impact that will have on the final scope of the project," Sterman said. "We're comfortable that the major elements of the project will be built; unfortunately, we just don't exactly know how it's going to be done at this point.

MODOT says it remains focused on areas like bridge replacement and reducing congestion with better interchanges.