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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Roads are much improved, thanks to taxpayers

Taypayers can thank their efforts, primarily through voting for Amendment 3, for the increase in the number of major roads that are in good condition. Across the state, the Missouri Department of Transportation has invested the taxpayer money entrusted to the department in making major roads smoother. Since 2004, the percentage of major roads across Missouri which are now in good condition has increased 36 percent. In the St. Louis area, conditions of major roads in the area, which include Interstates 70, 64/40, 44, 270, 55, 170 and Routes 30, 21 and 364 (the Page Extension) have increased from 53.6 percent in good condition in 2004 to 84.6 percent in good condition in 2008.

Other organizations have noticed the better roads, as well. Truck drivers voted Missouri roads as the fifth best in the nation in a survey published in January by Overdrive magazine, a publication serving the commercial motor carrier industry. The Reason Foundation listed Missouri as among the nation’s leaders in maintaining its transportation system and getting good value, and the Pew Center on the States gave Missouri a B+ for its infrastructure performance.

MoDOT is continuing to use available money to improve roadways. Better Roads, Brighter Future is making the remainder of major highways smoother with wider stripes and more visible signs. The Safe and Sound Bridge Improvement program is repairing or replacing 802 of the state's worst bridges by 2014.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Commission approves nine Recovery Act projects for St. Louis

Yesterday, the Missouri Highway and Transportation Commission approved using American Recovery and Rivitalization Act (ARRA) funding for nine projects in the St. Louis metropolitan area, pending approval from the East-West Gateway Council of Governments. These projects, totalling $173 million, should create about 5,900 jobs throughout the region. All projects were determined in conjection with MoDOT's regional partners (to include municipal and county leadership) and meet the requirements for being ready to go. All projects in the region were selected from projects recommended for priority implementation in the region's long-range transportation plan. View the list of approved projects here.

MoDOT is spending more than $525 million of ARRA funding throughout Missouri. Additionally, the state will spend roughly $151 million on other rail, aviation and transit projects, $19 million on enhancement projects and $93 million on county and municipal road projects in St. Louis, Kansas City and the Ozarks.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Planning to revitalize the economy

Last night, the Missouri Department of Transportation outlined the draft list of projects slated for American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 money. The money Missouri received for roads and bridges work is roughly 1½ percent of the entire amount required to fully meet the transportation infrastructure needs across the state.

There are specific rules for a project to be selected for ARRA money. Half of the projects have to be able to be under contract before June 30 – the rest have to be under contract before March 2, 2010. They have to be completed within three years and have to be in areas that are economically distressed and have to maximize job creation after the project is completed.

The projects outlined in the draft list included nine in the St. Louis area. The major projects in the St. Louis draft list have been on the regional long-range planner for many years. All the projects on the list have been coordinated and discussed with our municipal and county partners throughout the Greater Metropolitan area. You can view the entire list here.