|Each week in Connections we’ll include some information to help employees better understand where we are headed with our 325 System for primary and supplementary routes.
Why is MoDOT making these funding decisions now when the decreased construction funding level of $325 million doesn’t hit until 2017?
The Statewide Transportation Improvement Program is MoDOT’s budget for the next five years of construction contracts, and it’s updated each year. By 2017, MoDOT’s construction funding will be $325 million, which isn’t enough to keep Missouri’s existing roads and bridges in the condition they’re in today. MoDOT has to plan now how to work within that budget and prioritize construction funding. Even if more funding somehow became available, the process of planning and completing road work takes time and involves city, regional and state transportation professionals. That work must take place several years in advance.
How did we get here?
There are many reasons why Missouri has insufficient transportation funding. Fuel tax revenues have become a diminishing revenue stream as cars become more fuel efficient. Inflation has decreased our purchasing power by more than 50 percent. What was 17 cents (state fuel tax per gallon) of purchasing power in 1992 is now about eight cents and decreasing each year. The cost of asphalt, concrete and steel cost as much as 200 percent more than they did in 1992.