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MoDOT Asks for Comment on Long Range Plan

45 day comment period begins on new 20-year plan.
(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) When the Missouri Department of Transportation wanted to develop a new long-range plan, it went to the people.

Missourians responded with a long wish list of what they wanted.

"People identified 12,000 projects, so all over the board. Obviously some of them were more than one," said Tony McGaughy, Assistant District Engineer with MoDOT's northwest Missouri office in St. Joseph.

"It came to about $70 billion worth of projects," he said.

That makes it tough when instead of $70 billion, MoDOT will have only $17 billion to work with.

"There is a huge gap in what people want and expect versus what we can fund," McGaughy said.

So MoDOT will prioritize as it finalizes its new 20-year long-range plan. While specific projects have not yet been identified, they will need to fall within one of four categories: Maintenance, safety, economic growth opportunities and better transportation alternatives.

"We're going to frame all this based on those four guiding principles," McGaughy said.

A previous plan included rumble bars for the shoulders of highways and cable guards in the medians of high-accident areas. Those additions are partially being credited for reducing the number of roadway deaths in Missouri by about 30 percent in the last eight years.

However, this kind of work needs funding.

"There's no question about it that additional investment will have to be made in transportation in order to live with things Missourians are telling us that they want," said Andy Miller, with MoDOT's Springfield office.

There have been suggestions in the past for a statewide sales tax with funding going toward roads. But for now, most of MoDOT's funding is from gasoline taxes, which haven't risen since 1992. That's not the case with the cost of materials.

"Maybe the cost of a cubic yard of concrete was previously about $50. Now it's like $150." McGaughy said.

But McGaughy says he knows MoDOT has some demanding customers who want the best roadways possible.

"It's not MoDOT's highways system, it's Missourian's highway system," he said.

With the release of the plan comes a required 45 day comment period. MoDOT is looking for your input.

To check out the plan, click here.
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