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Prevailing wage laws

Missouri lawmakers are considering legislation that would remove wage rules on public construction projects. 

UPDATED at 3:23 p.m. Thursday with more details about public-private partnership.

ST. CLAIR COUNTY •  A $3.5 million federal grant will go toward upgrading infrastructure in East St. Louis to support business growth. 

The money is coming through the U.S. Commerce Department’s Economic Development Administration and will save 747 jobs, the department said Wednesday.

The River Bridge District in East St. Louis has suffered from "decades of disinvestment" as a result of the high-sulfur coal market’s collapse, which has caused manufacturers to close or relocate, the department said.

New economic development is beginning to take hold, which the current infrastructure can't support.

The grant will go toward rebuilding and enhancing Front Street, Missouri Avenue and B Street, which provide critical connections to the interstate system, according to the commerce department.

Adjacent streets also will also be resurfaced and widened in East St. Louis through a public-private partnership, according to the office of Rep. Mike Bost, R-Murphysboro. 

He said the Casino Queen, Bunge-SCF, and Cargill are each contributing $500,000 toward the project, which has a total cost of nearly $8 million.  

Leah Thorsen is a regional reporter for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Email her at lthorsen@post-dispatch.com and follow her on Twitter: @leahthorsen