JEFFERSON CITY - According to new figures released by the Missouri Department of Transportation, 86 percent of the state's busiest roads are now in good condition.
Road conditions in the Show Me State have been steadily improving since 2004 when only 47 percent of highways were in good condition. That year Missouri voters approved Amendment 3, which redirected some revenue back to roads and bridges.
"People tell me they know when they drive into Missouri because the roads get better. They used to tell me it was because the roads got worse," MoDOT Director Pete Rahn said.
MoDOT used the additional funding to make 2,200 miles of the state's most heavily traveled roads smoother and safer, accelerate 55 construction projects that are now complete and tackle 97 new projects that were years down the road.
"We have used the additional money from Amendment 3 to deliver smoother, safer roads on time and within budget," Rahn said.
Another factor contributing to the improved road conditions is MoDOT's Better Roads, Brighter Future program. Under this initiative, hundreds of miles of heavily traveled roads are getting smoother surfaces, wider stripes, brighter signs and paved shoulders.
However, Rahn said it will be difficult to keep state highways in good condition as funding for transportation decreases dramatically in the years ahead.
# # #
Editor's note: Downloadable audio and video clips featuring MoDOT Chief Engineer Kevin Keith are available at http://tinyurl.com/yzpdmpp. To view this FTP site in Windows Explorer, click Page, and then click Open FTP Site in Windows Explorer. Then you can grab the files and drag them onto your desktop.