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Hyperloop CEO meets with Gov. Parson, Speaker Haahr about I-70 project

The CEO of Virgin Hyperloop One, Jay Walder, visited the Missouri State Capitol Friday to meet with Gov. Mike Parson.

The meeting preceded a trip to Springfield, Missouri to meet with House Speaker Elijah Haahr, and succeeded a Thursday meeting in Columbia with UM System President Mun Choi.

The visits were all focused on the further development of plans for an ultra-high-speed hyperloop system across Missouri along the I-70 route between Kansas City and St. Louis.

Walder told ABC 17 News that one of the main attributes his company sees in the Show Me state is the cooperation of the government, the university and local businesses.

“We’re working with the government, we’re working with the university [of Missouri] and we’re working with the business coalition to look at the possibility to bring hyperloop to the state of Missouri,” said Walder. “Missouri has put together a model coalition in bringing together business, academia, government into one group.”

Missouri House members formed a blue ribbon panel in March with the purpose of speeding up the hyperloop’s development process.

That panel first met April 16 in Kansas City and is scheduled for the following meetings:

May 10 -11 in Los Angeles June 11 in St. Louis July 9 in Columbia Aug. 13 in Jefferson City Aug. 27 in Jefferson City Week of Sept. 1 in Jefferson City

Walder said he would not be discussing House Bill 1062, a bill that would place restrictions on private companies utilizing the power of eminent domain.

“Up to 70 percent of the route could be built in the median of I-70, and that’s terrific because you never see a project of this scale start from that kind of place,” said Walden.

The CEO said his main priority in his meeting with Parson and Haahr is to lay the groundwork for a testing facility to be built in Missouri, which Walden described as a “concrete step forward.”

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