The Missouri Highway and Transportation Commission adopted the 325 program this past week. With only $325 million allocated for a system that requires $485 million to maintain, MoDOT has narrowed its priorities.
A few background points first. Missouri has the 7th largest transportation system in the country, and it ranks 46th in revenue spent per mile. Missouri’s $14,000 per mile is much less than the average $70,000 per mile spent in the states around us with smaller systems.
Two realities of the $325 budget amount include:
- The state will not be able to match federal dollars for transportation projects by FY2017, which means that the dwindling transportation dollars provided by the federal government will no longer come to Missouri. The taxes that Missourians pay to the federal government will go to fund transportation in other states, not ours.
- MoDOT will only be focusing resources on the 8,000 miles of roads that connect communities across the state, reducing levels of service to 26,000 supplementary roads in both urban and rural areas of the state. The implications of this will be unrepaired potholes, limited snow service, weight restricted bridges, and lengthy detours for travelers, emergency services, school bus routes and more. There are 600 bridges in critical condition now. MoDOT predicts this number to grow to 1,500 by 2024.
They also provide a video to help residents understand the implications of this budget reality – http://youtu.be/-kIc_7B_nWk