JEFFERSON CITY - Rebuilding Interstate 70 across Missouri to include truck-only lanes will be studied as part of a new federal program.
The U.S. Department of Transportation has announced that the interstate is among six nationwide in its "Corridors Of The Future" program that will look at innovative ways to reduce congestion and improve freight delivery. The program calls for the Interstate 70 corridor through Missouri, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio to add four dedicated truck lanes. The states will receive $5 million for the study, including $2 million specifically for Missouri to supplement its existing I-70 study to consider the truck lanes concept.
"This federal study is an important step in addressing Missouri's critical need to improve I-70," said MoDOT Director Pete Rahn. "This highway is the busiest in our state, and it's a victim of its own success. It's getting so congested that we've got to do something dramatic to improve driving conditions."
More than 13 million miles are traveled on I-70 every day in Missouri; up to 40 percent of that is truck traffic. "Truck traffic is very heavy," Rahn said, "so it makes sense to rebuild I-70 to separate trucks and passenger vehicles. That would make driving easier and safer for everyone."
The cost of rebuilding I-70 with eight lanes, including four for trucks, is estimated at $3.5 billion, and MoDOT doesn't currently have available funding. "We don't yet have the money to build this, but we've got to start talking about options and planning for the future, because this need isn't going away," Rahn said.
Link to U.S. Department of Transportation news release and fact sheets on Corridors Of The Future program:
Links to artist's renderings of what I-70 with truck lanes could look like: