JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri's proposed five-year transportation improvement program includes a last hurrah of new transportation projects before plummeting to a program where limited funding will only cover minimal maintenance and safety work.
The 2009-2013 transportation program includes $300 million in new construction projects because lower than expected interest rates provided additional Amendment 3 bonding capacity. The $140 million bonded amount, combined with state savings from using Practical Design on projects and local matching funds, allows the Missouri Department of Transportation to tackle these new highway projects over the next five years, including additional lanes, interchange improvements and congestion relief.
"While it's great news to be able to pursue this additional work, we can't overlook the fact that in this program the Amendment 3 bond proceeds are used up, and our state transportation program goes back to critically low spending levels," MoDOT Director Pete Rahn said. "The program we're proposing marks the shift from having the opportunity to build new projects to barely maintaining what we have."
Missouri transitions from a construction program averaging $1.23 billion to a construction program of about $575 million in 2013. Compounding the funding problem is an expected decline in federal revenue, and rising fuel and construction costs.
"We have seen great progress due to Amendment 3," Rahn said. "Missouri must now have a conversation about what is to come regarding continued improvements to our transportation system."
Here are the projects added using the additional $300 Million:
· Adair County, Rt. 63, Kirksville relocation, $32 million
· Lincoln County, Rt. 61, new interchange in Troy, S. Lincoln Dr., $13 million
· Jackson County, I-70 & I-435, improve capacity Blue Ridge Cut-off & Rt. 40, $34 million
· Jackson County, I-70 & Rt. 40, relocated north outer road Grain Valley, $4 million
· Johnson County, Rt. 13, Warrensburg relocation north of Rt. 50, $22 million
· Osage County, Rt. 50, four-lane Rt. 63 to Linn $45 million
· St. Charles County, Rt. 94/364/Page Ave., upgrade to freeway Jungermann Rd to Rt. 94, $24 million
· St. Louis County, Rt. 141, purchase right of way, $23 million
· Jefferson County, I-55 & Rt. M, add ramps, $12 million
· Monett to Republic, Rt. 60, add passing lanes, $25 million
· Greene County, Rt. 65, capacity improvement Battlefield to Chestnut in Springfield, $16 million
· Stone County, Rt. 13, improve safety and capacity Rte 76 to Kimberling City bridge, $24 million
· Butler County, Rt. 67, roadway improvements Rt. M to Rt. 160, $28 million
The draft 2009-2013 Statewide Transportation Improvement Program lists all transportation projects planned by state and regional planning agencies for fiscal years 2009 through 2013 (July 1, 2008 - June 30, 2013). It totals $5.78 billion, with approximately $4.35 billion going to 662 highway and bridge projects, about $790 million to other transportation modes and approximately $640 million to local transportation programs.
"We used an extensive public involvement process to develop this program and have worked with our planning partners from communities around the state to identify and prioritize these new projects," Rahn said.
The proposed program is available for public review beginning May 14. Citizens interested in seeing the program or offering comments can contact MoDOT's customer service centers at 1-888 ASK MODOT (275-6636). The program is also available on MoDOT's Web site - http://www.modot.org/ - and at MoDOT's district offices around the state. The formal public comment period ends June 27.
Following the public review, 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 July 2.
The draft 2009-2013 Statewide Transportation Improvement Program includes transportation improvements identified by metropolitan planning organizations in St. Louis, Kansas City, Springfield, Columbia, Jefferson City, Joplin and St. Joseph. The STIP projects located in these areas are subject to discussion and approval by the appropriate metropolitan planning organization.
Editor's Note: A map showing the program's proposed highway and bridge projects is available at http://www.modot.org/.