JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - Missouri House members announced the formation of a blue ribbon panel Tuesday morning that will look at strategies to accelerate the proposed hyperloop that would run from Kansas City to St. Louis, passing through Columbia.
House Speaker Elijah Haar held a news conference at 9:15 a.m. Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe is set to chair the blue ribbon panel.
Missouri proposed the I-70 route to Hyperloop One as part of the Missouri Department of Transportation's "Road to Tomorrow" project to promote innovation along I-70.
Other cities across the world are also contenders for the Hyperloop technology.
The panel's vice chair, Andrew Smith, said the hyperloop would make Missouri a global tech leader.
"Effectively what this would do is unify the state and create a singular economic development mega region that would make us competitive with some of the top economic development meg regions in the country," Smith said.
Haahr said if the hyperloop is built, it will allow the state to build out from there.
"We have to have one that gets built first, and once we build that we can go from there," he said. "If we are able to build this and if it becomes successful, you can go anywhere from here. We can go to Chicago, we can go to Denver. We can start building out from here."
Kehoe said the panel would work quickly to find results. He said he expects the panel will meet at least once a month.
"We're not one of those committees that's going to be doing this for three or four years. I think we're going to try to wrap up recommendations back to the speaker early this fall," Kehoe said.
Kehoe said he supports fixing the state's current infrastructure issues, but said it is still important to look to the future.