Highway and Transportation Department was formed when voters
approved Constitutional Amendment 2 in November 1979. The
amendment merged the previously separate Highways and Transportation
departments. Legislation passed in 1996 changed the department's
name to the Missouri Department of Transportation. The department
operates under a decentralized organization with headquarters
in Jefferson City. This General Headquarters office provides
staff assistance and functional control for the various
departmental tasks in 7 geographical
district is under the direction of a district engineer,
who is in turn responsible for administering all department
activities in the region.
Two divisions within the General
Headquarters are responsible for bridge design and highway
planning for the state. Decisions about local highway construction,
maintenance or operations are made at the district level.
transit, aviation and railroads are established as units
within the headquarters office and report to a transportation
director, who reports to the deputy chief engineer. These
units carry out the statewide planning for these modes;
there are no counterparts in the districts. The Department
of Transportation operates in a quality improvement environment
to accomplish its mission to preserve, enhance and support
Missouri's Transportation Systems.
MoDOT has responsibilities for
five major transportation alternatives available to Missourians
-- highways, aviation, waterways, transit and railroads.
Those responsibilities include the total operation of the
33,600 mile highway system, including highway location,
design, construction and maintenance.
In addition, the department cooperates
and coordinates with owners and operators of the four other
modal systems in the development and improvement of airports,
rail facilities, ports and the operational cost of transit
systems. Key here also is the administration of state/federal
programs and funds available with these modes.
MoDOT's principal sources
of state revenue are motor vehicle fuel taxes, licenses
and fees and part of one-half of the motor vehicle sales
tax. A small amount of revenue comes from incidental sources
as fees from the sale of blueprints and maps. Voter-approved
bond issues of $60 million in 1920 and $75 million in 1928
helped fund early road building programs. Bond principal
and interest were paid from revenues provided by highway
users. All road bonds in Missouri were retired on June 15,1957.
Additional revenue was generated
in a special November 6, 1979, state election. Voters approved
Amendment 2 -- a measure providing revenue through reallocation
of part of one-half of the motor vehicle sales tax revenue
to the department. Of this revenue, 75 percent went to the
Highways and Transportation Department. Counties received
a 10 percent share and cities received the remaining 15
Missouri voters approved a road
and bridge improvement program on April 7, 1987, that increased
the motor fuel tax from 7 to 11 cents per-gallon, increased
heavy truck registration fees 10 percent and placed a cap
on administrative expenses going to other state agencies.
In April 1992, in response to new federal transportation
legislation and the need to put Missourians back to work,
the Missouri Legislature increased the motor fuel tax by
2-cents per gallon in 1992,1994 and 1996.
Coupled with this tax increase was a road and bridge improvement
program, the 15-Year Plan, that was projected to complete
hundreds of transportation projects across the state from
1992-2007. In November 1998, the Missouri Highway and Transportation
Commission approved a MoDOT staff recommendation to adopt
a more realistic 5-Year Plan. This short-term highway
and bridge construction schedule is designed to meet
the high priority needs of Missouri. Projecting project
costs and funding out over an extended period of years is
The Centennial Road Law of 1921
provided for the creation of a system of connected state
highways. Under the terms of this law and subsequent legislation
and constitutional amendments, more than 33,600 miles of
state highways have been constructed and improved through
the years. These highways connect principal population centers,
county seats and small communities within the state.
The following table gives
summary statistics regarding Missouri's state highway system
as of November 2010.