JEFFERSON CITY - The first year of the state's five-year highway construction program approved today by the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission will be robust, largely due to recovery act funding, the Safe and Sound Bridge Improvement Program and the new Mississippi River Bridge in St. Louis.
Unfortunately, the same can't be said for the remaining years in the 2010-2014 Statewide Transportation Improvement Program. After the first year, spending for Missouri's roads and bridges drops drastically, with little more than enough funding to take care of the existing state highway system. n n
"It's a lot like when someone comes to you and says, ‘Do you want the good news or the bad news,'" said Missouri Department of Transportation Director Pete Rahn. "That always means the bad news is going to put a damper on the good news. That's how it is with our construction program. We're going to be able to do a lot of great things at the beginning, but we won't be able to maintain that momentum."
By 2011, transportation funding drops by more than half and will continue falling to only one-third of the 2010 amount in subsequent years. At this point, Missourians will see very few new projects to expand the system and make it safer.
"While very much welcomed and needed, the recovery act funding we received is not a silver bullet," said MoDOT Director Pete Rahn. "It has helped delay our grim transportation situation, but without additional funding for future transportation projects, our roads and bridges will once again begin to deteriorate."
The construction program for fiscal year 2010 totals $1.3 billion. In fiscal year 2011, the program drops to just $652 million and by fiscal year 2014, only $421 million will be available for transportation projects.
The five-year transportation improvement program lists all transportation projects planned by state and regional planning agencies from July 1, 2009 to June 30, 2014. It includes transportation improvements identified by metropolitan planning organizations in St. Louis, Kansas City, Springfield, Columbia, Jefferson City, Joplin and St. Joseph.
The complete list of transportation projects, as well as maps showing all highway and bridge projects and corridors to be completed, can be found at http://www.modot.org/.
# # #