Dividing Missouri's Highways

1 decade 10 months 3 weeks ago Thursday, June 28 2007 Jun 28, 2007 Thursday, June 28, 2007 5:46:30 PM CDT June 28, 2007 in News

Meanwhile, two accidents on the I-70 Missouri River Bridge near Rocheport injured several people and brought traffic to a halt for more than an hour Thursday.

It started when a pick-up truck smashed into the back of a tractor trailer.

A new national report blames highway design for a lot of these accidents and many traffic deaths.

In Jefferson City, MoDOT announced a new report in part addressing the safety on Missouri interstates.

"The proposal to add dedicated truck lanes on I-70 and I-44 is a proposal to make the interstates more efficient and more safe, to separate the large trucks from the family automobiles," MoDOT Director Pete Rahn said.

Rahn and MoDOT hope these lanes would prevent accidents like the one at Rocheport. Truck drivers say it would work.

"If they were strictly for trucks and not, let's say, passenger vehicles and four-wheelers were not allowed, yes it would be safer in the long run for the truck drivers and everyone else on the road," truck driver Gerd Bachert said.

But improving safety on the interstate isn't cheap.

"The price tag is $7.2 billion, and today we have zero dollars to accomplish that with," Rahn said.

MoDOT hopes to use the report to show Missourians the cost of safety is worth it.

Rahn says MoDOT will run out of money for Missouri roads in 2010. He says voters need to decide that roads are a priority before MoDOT can continue with any of its projects to keep people safer.

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