JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri Department of Transportation today announced plans to improve the remainder of the state's 5,600 miles of major highways over the next five years. These busy highways will receive wider stripes and rumble stripes, brighter signs, paved shoulders and smooth pavement that will bring 85 percent of Missouri's major highway system up to good condition by the end of 2011.
"Missourians have told us that we've got to bring our-heavily traveled roads up to good condition," said MoDOT Director Pete Rahn. "The Smooth Roads Initiative, which we completed last month, got the first 2,200 miles in good condition.
"This new program is the Smooth Roads Initiative on steroids. Nearly every single Missourian will benefit from these improvements."
Called Better Roads, Brighter Future, the program targets highways carrying 80 percent of all traffic on the state highway system-that's 103 million miles traveled a day. About 95 percent of all Missourians live within 10 miles of one of these roads.
"This program delivers three tremendous benefits - it will save lives, create jobs and save motorists money," Rahn said. "When the five-year program is complete, the improved roads will prevent 85 disabling injuries and save 10 lives every year.
"Good roads bring jobs," he added. "The program will support more than 48,000 jobs. And when the roads are improved, every city along those highways will be a more attractive place for a new company to locate."
"Smooth roads save fuel, too - a 2.4 percent improvement in fuel economy, to be exact. With all the miles traveled each day on these roads, that works out to $100 million a year in fuel savings - that money goes right back into motorists' pockets. It's also estimated that rough roads cost the average driver $275 a year in increased maintenance costs - that's more money that will be saved when the roads are better," Rahn said.
The five-year program will cost $1.1 billion, using existing funds allocated for taking care of the state highway system. "We're identifying the roads most in need of improvement and that will benefit the most drivers, and focusing our resources in this area," Rahn said.
To kick-start the Better Roads, Brighter Future program, MoDOT is adding or accelerating 34 projects into its construction program for 2007. Additional projects will be added each year through 2011.
For more details on the Better Roads, Brighter Future program, please visit http://www.modot.org/.Editor's note:
For further details, including maps, projects and photos, please visit MoDOT's newsroom - www.modot.org/newsroom