MoDOT ready to move on $800 million in transportation work

| Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Missouri’s Highways and Transportation Commission recently gave final approval to spend $800 million on a series of road projects, the agency announced Jan. 14.

Included in the list is one of the most clogged interstate intersections in the state.

The projects are all being funded thanks to the state’s Constitution Amendment No. 3, which requires “all revenues from the existing motor vehicle fuel tax (less collection costs) be used only for state and local highways, roads and bridges.” The amendment also calls for the use of all other vehicle taxes and fees to pay off the state’s highway bonds.

More than 78 percent of the state’s voters approved the measure Nov. 2, 2004, according to figures from the Missouri Secretary of State’s office.

OOIDA has long opposed spending fuel taxes and vehicle fees for non-highway purposes.

The approved projects include:

  • Completing congestion relief work on the Grandview Triangle in Kansas City, MO – the intersection of U.S. 71, Interstate 470 and Interstate 435;
  • Finishing work to turn U.S. 61 into a four-lane highway in northeast Missouri; and
  • Completing the four-lane U.S. 71 corridor south of Joplin, MO.

The Grandview Triangle is a massive tangle in the Kansas City area, and is in the middle of a reconstruction project designed to relieve congestion problems.

The Transportation Commission also approved spending $360 million on the “Smoother, Safer, Sooner” program. That money will pay for 177 projects that include adding smoother pavement to 2,200 miles of highways, improving road markings and adding other safety improvements. The work will also include several bridge projects.

The first phase of the Smoother, Safer, Sooner program is scheduled for completion in three years.

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