CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - On the Breakfast show Friday, Missouri's Department of Transportation launches the next step in their long range plan.
After they listed to drivers in all 114 Missouri counties, they heard ideas for 12,000 projects – but realize the $17 billion foretasted to be available over the next 20 years won't stretch far enough to make everyone happy. So they're giving the public every opportunity to tell MoDOT, this is what we want.
According to MoDOT representatives, budget numbers averaged $1.2 billion a year, then fell to $700 million last year, and could be as low as $425 million by 2019.
Part of the issues are that 70 percent of their revenue comes from fuel taxes, license fees and sales taxes on motor vehicles.
By law, representatives say that can only be spent on roads and bridges. Fuel tax numbers are going down in part because care are more efficient and people are driving less. Meanwhile, the cost of materials is going up.
"We've taken extreme efforts to make this work," said MoDot Director, Dave Nichols. "We've cut our staff by 1200, closed buildings and sold equipment."
Yet Nichols says they can't ignore the fact you want and Missouri needs a better and continually updated system.
So, they identified four priorities from the input they received in each county and identified these four goals:
- Take care of the transportation system and services we enjoy today
- Keep all travelers safe
- No matter the mode of transportation Invest in projects that spur economic growth and create jobs
- Give Missourians better transportation choices (more viable urban and rural transit, friendlier bike and pedestrian accommodations, improvements in rail, ports and airport operations)