JEFFERSON CITY - Today the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission approved a plan to work with a drastically reduced construction budget.The Missouri Department of Transportation unveiled the plan last month as a way to take care of Missouri's roads and bridges when its construction budget drops to $325 million in 2017. It's a decision the Commission hoped it would never have to make."This action truly sets the stage to transform Missouri's transportation system and dramatically change the way we do business," said Commission Chair Stephen Miller. "After years of making great progress on the condition of Missouri's highways, we now face a future of watching our roads and bridges deteriorate.""Missouri's 325 System" calls for MoDOT to focus its limited resources on only about 8,000 miles of Missouri's 34,000-mile state highway system. The department will use its annual construction budget to keep these primary roads in the mostly good condition they are in today.The remaining miles of roads and bridges will make up the state's supplementary system and will receive only limited routine maintenance. That means MoDOT crews will do the best they can to maintain roads and bridges on the supplemental system with internal resources. Work will include filling potholes, patching pavement and flushing and sealing bridge decks. It won't be enough, however, to keep supplementary roads from deteriorating over time. "Missouri has the seventh largest highway system in the nation, but we rank 46th in revenue per mile," said MoDOT Director Dave Nichols. "This plan prioritizes what we do with that shrinking revenue, but the only way to truly change Missouri's status is to find a long-term funding solution."While it is up to Missouri's legislators to determine the state's investment in transportation, MoDOT estimates another $160 million each year in new state funds would allow the department to match all available federal funds, take care of the entire highway system in its current condition, reinstate the popular cost-share program, and potentially develop a flexible fund for regional transportation priorities.Missourians can find out more about Missouri's 325 System by visiting www.modot.org/toughchoicesahead.