JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission today approved a new five-year transportation construction program that shows spending for Missouri's roads and bridges will plummet in fiscal year 2010, which begins July 1, 2009.
The Statewide Transportation Improvement Program, or STIP, identifies all transportation projects planned by state and regional planning agencies for fiscal years 2008 through 2012 (July 1, 2007-June 30, 2012). It reflects a large amount of highway construction in 2008, largely due to additional funding from voter-approved Amendment 3. However, stagnant state fuel taxes, lagging federal revenue and increasing construction, maintenance and fuel costs will cause highway funding to fall off a cliff in 2010.
"We go from a construction program totaling $1.23 billion in 2008 to an annual program of $569 million beginning in 2010," Missouri Department of Transportation Director Pete Rahn said. "During the first half of the STIP, about $1 billion of Amendment 3 major projects will be delivered. However, as Amendment 3 bond proceeds run out, the last half of the STIP shifts primarily to a maintenance program with some safety projects and limited major project work."
Rahn said it would be a major setback to see the vast improvements made to Missouri's highways in recent years deteriorate because of a lack of future funding. Two recent national reports cited Missouri's gains in highway conditions, while keeping administrative and project costs low. Both reports also pointed out an $18 billion gap in funding over the next 20 years and the need for additional funding.
Rahn said he was pleased Missouri officials have raised the need for additional funding. Both Sen. Bill Stouffer and Rep. Neal St. Onge have proposed legislation to bring in additional revenue for transportation, and the Missouri Transportation Development Council recently hosted a forum to discuss future funding options.
The highway construction program approved today includes more than 770 highway and bridge projects, as well as funding for aviation, railroads, waterways and public transportation. The STIP totals approximately $6.5 billion over the five-year period. It includes $5.06 billion for highway and bridge projects, $760 million for other modes of transportation, and $700 million for city and county transportation programs.
Rahn said the program has three goals: to finish planned road and bridge projects as promised, improve the condition of major roads and repair or replace more than 800 bridges statewide.
"A vital element in developing our transportation program is local involvement," said Rahn. "Local citizens statewide have been part of deciding which projects will be built first. We appreciate their help in planning Missouri's road and bridge improvements."
The 2008-2012 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.
For a complete list of projects or for more information, contact MoDOT's customer service center at 1-888-ASK-MODOT (275-6636), visit the department's Web site at http://www.modot.org/ or call the local MoDOT district offices.
Editor's Note: Maps showing all highway and bridge projects, and corridors to be completed with the STIP are available at http://www.modot.org/.