MoDOT releases new options to make I-70 toll road across Missouri
COLUMBIA - Tens of thousands of Missourians drive on Interstate 70 on a daily basis. Now, officials are looking for how to pay for major improvements in the future.
Last year, Gov. Jay Nixon asked MoDOT to create a report on tolling options on I-70 to help pay for those changes. In late December, MoDOT released its 20-page report detailing several tolling options.
Bob Brendel of MoDOT said the country's oldest interstate is in desperate need of improvements, which would include making each side at least three lanes.
"It has lived way past its design life," Brendel said. "It carries way more traffic than it was designed for."
It's a concept legislators have debated before, but it has not gained much traction. Back in 2012, a similar idea was not able to make it out of committee for further debate.
In 2014, Missouri voters also voted against an amendment on the August ballot, which would have helped pay for improvements on the interstate.
Norm Ruebling of MO-X said he is in support of the issue but also said it would take "an act of God" for it to happen. Missourians and the state legislature have both rejected the idea before.
Brendel said tolling is simply just an option at this point, with no major plans currently in the works. Brendel also said MoDOT would need at least $2 billion to make all of the repairs necessary to fix I-70.