CAPITOL REPORT: REPRESENTATIVE PATRICIA PIKE

HONORING OUR VETERANS

Veterans Day is Monday, November 11thand a national holiday.  In November our 126th Legislative District communities (Vernon and Bates counties) will be proudly hosting special flag ceremonies, breakfasts, lunches, dinners, programs, school assemblies, and parades in honor of our veterans.  All year round, many of our citizens will continue saying “thank you for your service” to those wearing a military hat or vest. May we always remember to show appreciation to the men and women in our area and across our nation who have served in the military.  As Jeff Miller famously penned, “The willingness of America’s veterans to sacrifice for our country has earned them our lasting gratitude.”

Missouri Makes Bold Push to Secure New Type of Transportation System:  House Speaker Elijah Haahr was joined by other prominent political, business, and community leaders recently to outline their efforts to make Missouri the first state in the nation to develop a high-speed Hyperloop system. Hyperloop supporters say creating a Hyperloop system that runs from Kansas City to St. Louis could create up to 17,000 new jobs and have an overall economic impact of up to $3.7 billion per year.

Hyperloop is a new mode of transportation that is meant to move freight and people quickly and safely. Passengers or cargo would be transported in a Hyperloop pod and accelerate via electric propulsion in a low-pressure tube. The pod would float above the track using magnetic levitation and glide at speeds in excess of 600 miles per hour. A Hyperloop system in Missouri would allow users to travel from St. Louis to Kansas City in approximately 30 minutes.

Speaker Haahr was joined by Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe, State Treasurer Scott Fitzpatrick and Senate Majority Leader Caleb Rowden to unveil the findings of Missouri’s Special Blue Ribbon Panel on Hyperloop. Haahr formed the Special Blue Ribbon Panel in March of this year following a feasibility study completed by Kansas City engineering firms Black & Veatch and Olsson. Missouri was the first state to complete an engineering feasibility study that concluded the core technology was viable and that the route from Kansas City to Columbia to St. Louis would be economically feasible.

The Hyperloop panel of public and private leaders with expertise in a wide range of subject matters from across the state was tasked with providing recommendations on how to make the Hyperloop a reality in Missouri. The report presents specific steps in establishing Missouri as the global epicenter for research and development of the core Hyperloop technology. The report also establishes that Missouri must conduct more environmental impact studies, additional engineering work, and establish a regulatory framework before breaking ground on a Hyperloop project.

In pushing for Hyperloop in Missouri, Speaker Haahr noted that the state has always been a leader when it comes to transportation innovation. Haahr pointed out that Missouri funded the first transoceanic flight with Lindbergh’s Spirit of St. Louis, and that the first miles of the United States Interstate Highway system were laid in the state. Haahr also pointed out that Missouri built the world’s first steel-truss bridge, and Missouri scientists and engineers helped launch humanity into space. Haahr said Missouri has always been on the cutting edge of developing transportation technology. “Hyperloop is the next step in transportation, and it’s the next place where we can lead the country,” said Haahr.

Supporters say Missouri could begin work on a test track as soon as a year from now. The goal would be to build a 15-mile track to test the feasibility of Hyperloop transportation, which would take 3 to 5 years to build. If successful, Missouri could begin construction on the full commercial route in 7 to 10 years. Supporters say the test track could cost between $300 million to $500 million, and the full track between Kansas City and St. Louis could cost as much as $10 billion. They noted that no tax dollars have been spent on Hyperloop to date, and the key to securing funding would be a private-public partnership structure.

Supporters also note that a Hyperloop system could reduce the number of vehicles on Interstate 70 between Kansas City and St. Louis This would allow the Missouri Department of Transportation to spend less on fixing the extremely busy section of highway. Speaker Haahr said, “Building the Hyperloop would alleviate a lot of the problems with our interstate system. The wear and tear, the human cost of access, would go down significantly.”

Contact Representative Pike at Patricia.Pike@house.mo.gov or call 573-751-5388 with your comments and for assistance on state issues, resolutions, flags, and visits in District and at the Capitol.  Contact Legislative Assistant, Matt Glover, at Matthew.Glover@house.mo.gov.  Our 126th District Office is open year-round at the Missouri Capitol Monday through Thursday – 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. in Room 404A.

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