MoDOT to focus on roads and bridges, fewer projects - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

MoDOT to focus on roads and bridges, fewer projects

JEFFERSON CITY, MO (KFVS) -

The Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) says a drop in state money means fewer projects to keep state roads in good condition.

MoDOT has released its draft Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) for public review and comment.

“This year, the draft STIP demonstrates the commitment MoDOT has made to projects that focus on primary routes and taking care of the existing highway system,” said MoDOT Interim Director Roberta Broeker. “As the construction budget gets smaller each year, projects in the STIP must reflect only the most essential transportation needs.”

The total number of projects in the STIP's five-year highway and bridge construction schedule is 574, a decrease of about 250 projects compared to last year.

The change comes as a result of a construction budget that drops from $596 million in 2016 to $325 million in 2017 and beyond.

Several years ago, there was $1 billion of road and bridge construction projects planned for each year. With diminishing fuel tax revenues and the ever-increasing cost of materials, that scenario is out of reach, according to MoDOT.

MoDOT says it has adopted “Missouri's 325 System,” which separates Missouri's highways into primary and supplementary routes.

Any new projects will be limited to maintaining the 8,000 miles of primary routes in the condition they are in now, according to the department. The continuing 26,000 miles will receive limited routine maintenance only.

“Despite the progress of the last 10 years, 2017 will bring the funding shortfall MoDOT has predicted for years,” said Broeker. “The ramifications of that shortfall will extend to every region of the state and the impact will be significant in terms of safety and economic growth.”

The proposed program is available for public review starting May 6, 2015. Those interested in seeing the program may review it online at www.modot.org or at MoDOT district and regional offices throughout the state.

Comments on the program can be submitted by mail, email or by calling MoDOT's customer service center at 1-888-ASK-MoDOT (888-275-6636). The formal comment period ends June 5, 2015.

Copyright 2015 KFVS. All rights reserved.

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