on Missouri's transportation system greatly exceed the resources
available to meet them. The needs are valid; they have been
established and confirmed through research and extensive
public involvement. They extend across all modes of transportation.
As a responsible state agency, MoDOT must focus its efforts
on trying to meet these needs.
The department has established policies that will help it
reach its goals. For example, before it can focus on significantly
improving the highway and bridge system, it first must stop
the deterioration. Only then can MoDOT move forward toward
attaining the specific goals established here. MoDOT will
work to establish stable sources of funding for the other
modes of transportation. For example, MoDOT opposes the
discontinuation of the dedicated aviation gas tax for the
aviation trust fund. Based on the public's expectations,
MoDOT will continue to focus on safety as its top priority
in all modes and will place greater emphasis on rehabilitation
The department is aware meeting all the needs is a challenge.
It does not, and Missourians should not, expect instant,
overwhelming progress regardless of the level of investment.
What Missourians can expect is gradual improvement focusing
on the highest priorities first. MoDOT will use its goals
to guide its investments. Based on its work with members
of the public and transportation stakeholders during the
public involvement process, MoDOT believes these goals accurately
reflect Missourians' priorities for transportation. They
are fundamental to making wise transportation investments.
The investment strategies, along with the policies embedded
in the Long-Range Transportation Direction, will ensure
MoDOT focuses on its most critical needs first.
Planning with Missourians' expectations in mind is a necessity,
but public input must be balanced with responsible engineering
decisions. MoDOT is committed to asking Missourians what
they expect from the state's transportation system and using
the most appropriate engineering information to help satisfy
MoDOT will support ongoing communication with Missourians
as the Long-Range Transportation Plan is implemented and
updated. Ensuring that citizens have the chance to participate
in the transportation decision-making process is a growing
concern nationally, and MoDOT recognizes the importance
of its obligation to provide these opportunities for all
Missourians. MoDOT will work with its local and national
transportation partners to provide opportunities for all
Missourians to participate in the transportation decision-making
The Long-Range Transportation Plan is not a cure-all for
Missouri's transportation needs. It is, rather, the document
that identifies the needs and starts to identify the processes
required to meet those needs. It is not a one-time process.
To ensure its continued viability, it will be reviewed frequently
and adjusted as necessary to meet changing circumstances.
The Long-Range Transportation Plan does not stand alone.
State and federal law require creation of a plan based on
the real intermodal transportation needs of the state (23
USC 135 and the State Highway Act, section 226.132). While
the Long-Range Transportation Direction sets the course
of action, other, equally important plans will provide detailed
direction. It is one in a group of plans, including the
mid-range plan, the Statewide Transportation Improvement
Program and the strategic and business plans, that will
govern MoDOT's operations at all levels. As a group, the
plans will ensure MoDOT will provide its customers, the
citizens of Missouri, the best transportation system possible.