The head of Missouri’s
transportation system announced this week that he favors separating large
trucks from other vehicles on Interstate 70 between Kansas City and St. Louis.
Missouri Transportation Director
Pete Rahn spoke Wednesday, June 28, at a ceremony to mark the 50th anniversary
of the interstate highway system. He said heavy trucks account for more than 40
percent of the traffic, four times the rate for which the highway was designed
in the 1950s, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.
Rahn said the plan to separate
cars and trucks along the 250-mile stretch between the two metropolitan areas
would require at least three lanes in each direction. The work would carry a
$3.5 billion price tag, the Post-Dispatch reported. However, no funding
is in place for such a project.
According to the newspaper, Rahn
told those gathered at the ceremony in St. Charles, MO, that motorists sharing
the road with trucks along I-70 are fearful of becoming part of “a chrome
OOIDA Director of Regulatory
Affairs Rick Craig said separate lanes for cars and trucks are something that
many professional truckers are in favor of.
“Truckers for years have been
saying they should be separated from cars,” Craig told Land Line. “Truckers are just as fearful about the unsafe actions of automobile drivers.”
Craig pointed out that the idea
of separating trucks and cars is not a new idea. He said it’s about as old as
the interstate system itself.
“Anytime this comes up, it
sounds good on the surface but the big ‘T word’ comes in, and that is tolling
the trucks to pay for it.”
Rahn said citizens must be
willing to foot the bill for rebuilding the interstate system and that fuel
taxes don’t generate enough revenue to complete the overhaul.
“Unfortunately, whatever we do
is going to be expensive,” he added, the Post-Dispatch reported.
– By Keith Goble, state