MODOT Construction Dollars Dip

1 decade 10 months 2 days ago Thursday, July 19 2007 Jul 19, 2007 Thursday, July 19, 2007 5:55:10 PM CDT July 19, 2007 in News

In 2004 Missouri earned the title 'worst roads in the Midwest,' and MODOT has put a lot of money into the highways to make those days a distant memory.

MODOT said it's made big strides since 2004 in improving state roads, such as a monster project off Route Y. That money comes from Amendment Three.

But the well of construction funds from Amendment Three is quickly drying up.

"Because of the Amendment Three funds we have dollars for major projects like work through the first half of the STIP," MODOT spokesperson Machelle Watkins said.

The STIP, or Statewide Transportation Improvement Program, plans MODOT's next five years. But come July 2009, the STIP loses a lot of its power.

"There are a tremendous number of needs statewide not able to be addressed because the funding's not there," MODOT district engineer Roger Schultze said.

In 2008, with Amendment Three, MODOT will spend well over $1 billion on projects. Come 2010, after it dries up, MODOT is left with less than half that amount.

"We'd hate to see all this progress that we made fall by the wayside if we don't have appropriate funds for transportation," Watkins said.

There will still be some big projects in Mid-Missouri, with work on Highway 63, Route 54, and I-70, but most of the money will go to simple upkeep.

"We're not going to have the money to do major contruction, or capacity-type improvements that growing areas are looking for," Schultze said.

That could mean some potentially rougher roadways.

"It's a scary time for all of us," Watkins said.

The STIP - or project outline - is created with funding in mind, so MODOT said it won't commit to a project it can't complete.

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