Missouri highway officials fear rise in fatalities

Posted: Aug 6, 2014 1:43 PM by The Associated Press

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri transportation officials are cautioning that the state could see a rise in traffic fatalities and bridge closures following the defeat of a proposed sales tax.

State transportation commissioners held a subdued meeting Wednesday, a day after voters rejected a three-quarters cent sales tax for transportation by 59 percent of the vote. The proposal would have raised at least $540 million annually for the next decade and funded over 800 transportation projects.

Without additional revenue, transportation commissioners say that by 2017 they won't have enough money to adequately maintain roads and bridges.

Commissioners fear traffic fatalities will go up if they can't improve rural two-lane roads that lack shoulders. They said the state could have to close some bridges if it lacks the money to repair them.

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