Representatives fight for transportation infrastructure improvements

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COLUMBIA - The Boone County House Delegation fights for the replacement and improvements to Missouri transportation infrastructure. 

Earlier this August 60% of Missourians voted no to Amendment 7 which was a transportation sales tax that would have helped pay for improvements to Missouri highways and bridges. 

State Representatives Caleb Rowden (R-Columbia), Chris Kelly (D-Columbia), Stephen Weber (D-Columbia), John Wright (D-Rocheport), and Caleb Jones (R-Columbia) hosted a public forum Thursday evening to discuss ways to fix the failing road infrastructure.

The representatives discussed the current state of Missouri roads and bridges, the transportation funding, and what other states have done to improve transportation infrastructure. 

Right now Missouri ranks seventh for the largest highway system, containing more highways than Kansas and Illinois combined. However, the state only ranks 40th in transportation funding. 

Many citizens at the public forum explained they believe there needs to be more funding for transportation; however, they did not agree with it being in the form of a sales tax.

Some suggested raising the money from a fuel and diesel tax because Missouri currently has one of the lowest fuel taxes. 

Representative Rowden said the forum will hopefully help legislators get a better idea of what Missourians would vote in favor of to help improve the transportation. 

Representative Kelly also said he hopes the community will not see this discussion as just fixing potholes, but rather a discussion on how to fix transportation overall.