MoDOT Meeting Sparks Conversation of I-70's Safety

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COLUMBIA - The Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission held an open teleconference Wednesday about the progress of what the Columbia City Manager considers an "aging interstate."

City Manager Mike Matthes addressed safety concerns and how I-70 could be improved. According to MoDOT, traffic accidents and deaths on I-70 are the lowest Missouri has seen in years.

Dr. Jeffrey Coughenour, MU Assistant Professor of Surgery and Emergency Medicine, spoke at the meeting. He said although traffic accidents and deaths resulting from these accidents are down, that doesn't mean the interstate doesn't need improvement.

Dr. Coughenour said problems such as traffic accidents and the deaths surrounding them are still a problem regardless of the numbers. He said the focus should not be on how much the numbers have improved but how they can get even better.

He also said the work MoDOT makes needs to aid the rural drivers and the accidents and fatalities those people face.

Missouri had 630 traffic fatalities statewide by November in 2013, the lowest the state has seen in at least four years.