JEFFERSON CITY, MO - In the last ten years, great progress has been made to improve Missouri's transportation system, due largely to funding from Amendment 3 and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
But the sense of satisfaction that comes from traveling on those smooth, safe roadways may soon be forgotten. Missouri's transportation system is in the midst of a drastic funding shortage, and unless a solution is found, the situation will only get worse.
Missouri's construction program has dropped from an average of $1.2 billion in recent years to about $700 million. It's barely enough to maintain the existing system, much less tackle the projects that create jobs, increase safety, ease congestion and foster economic development.
"The Missouri Department of Transportation has reduced staff, facilities and equipment to direct as much funding as possible to roads and bridges, because we must deliver on our commitments to the state of Missouri," said MoDOT Director Kevin Keith. "We are focused on keeping the transportation system in as good a condition as we can, for as long as we can, with the resources we have, keeping everyone safe, and providing excellent customer service. But we can't cut our way to an improved transportation system."
The draft 2013-2017 Statewide Transportation Improvement Program lists transportation projects planned by state and regional planning agencies for fiscal years 2013 through 2017 (July 1, 2012 through June 30, 2017). The proposed program is available for public review beginning May 2. Those interested in seeing the program or offering comments can contact MoDOT's customer service centers at 1-888-ASK-MoDOT (888-275-6636). The program is also available on MoDOT's web site, www.modot.org, and at MoDOT district and regional offices around the state. The formal comment period ends June 1, 2012.
Following the public review period, the comments will be presented to the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission. The commission will review the comments and the final transportation program before considering it for approval at its July 11 meeting in Washington.