JEFFERSON CITY - A new four-lane highway on Route 50 in Osage County is one of the last new major construction projects planned for inclusion in the state's five-year transportation improvement program before funding levels drop. With the projects included in the draft 2009-2013 Statewide Transportation Improvement Program, Amendment 3 bonds will be used up and future funding levels will only cover minimal maintenance and safety work.In the draft transportation program, approximately 6.6 miles of Route 50, from the Route 50/63 junction to County Road 604 west of Linn, will be relocated and widened to four lanes. If approved, work could begin in fall 2012.Other central Missouri major road projects are also included in the draft program, which the Missouri Department of Transportation released to allow Missourians the opportunity to look at transportation projects planned by state and regional planning agencies for fiscal years 2009 through 2013 (July 1, 2008 - June 30, 2013). Major projects in the mid-Missouri area include:
While mid-Missouri has its share of new construction over the next few years, the transportation program also reflects plummeting funding levels."We have averaged about $1.23 billion statewide for our construction program, using Amendment 3 bond funding," said Mike Dusenberg, central district planning manager. "In 2013 that amount drops to $575 million, which will only cover minimal maintenance and safety work."We rely on public comment for the projects in the new transportation plan, but now we need to talk about how lower funding levels will affect our transportation system."The draft 2009-2013 Statewide Transportation Improvement Program totals $5.78 billion, with approximately $4.35 billion going to 662 highway and bridge projects, about $790 million to other transportation modes and approximately $640 million to local transportation programs.Citizens interested in seeing the program or offering comments can contact MoDOT's customer service center at 1-888 ASK MODOT (275-6636). The program is also available on MoDOT's Web site, www.modot.org, and at MoDOT's district offices around the state. The formal public comment period ends June 27.Following the public review, the comments will be presented to the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission. The commission will review the comments and the final transportation program before considering it for approval July 2. The draft 2009-2013 Statewide Transportation Improvement Program includes transportation improvements identified by metropolitan planning organizations in St. Louis, Kansas City, Springfield, Columbia, Jefferson City, Joplin and St. Joseph. The STIP projects located in these areas are subject to discussion and approval by the appropriate metropolitan planning organization.