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AASHTO Journal

Missouri Transportation Infrastructure Needs $1 Billion <br>More Per Year to Address Needs, Report States

In order to address the needs of Missouri's aging transportation infrastructure, the state needs to find a way to invest between $600 million and $1 billion more per year, according to a report released Tuesday by the Blue Ribbon Citizens Committee on Missouri's Transportation Needs.

The committee drafted the report after holding various meetings with transportation professionals and community members across the state to talk about transportation needs and whether or not those needs were being met. Through the process, the committee reached hundreds of people and took testimony from more than 200 for the report.

It was through that testimony that the panel found several key themes regarding the transportation in Missouri, including:

  • The current transportation system needs to be maintained,
  • Safety needs to stay a priority,
  • Transportation needs in Missouri are multi-modal,
  • Missouri isn't financially positioned to expand the system,
  • A strong transportation system is necessary for the state's economy and future growth, and
  • Missouri DOT stands in good favor of its citizens.

Working from the testimony given through the last nine months, the committee then highlighted six recommendations it believed the state needed to acknowledge in order to address the transportation issues across the state. According to the report, Missouri should:

  • ​Invest an additional $600 million to $1 billion annual in transportation,
  • Understand it would not be able to "cut" its way to meeting transportation demands, no matter how efficient it is,
  • Know that the solution will likely not be single, but a combination of various solutions (such as bonds, tolling, sales tax increases, and/or fuel tax increases),
  • Come up with a plan that is fair, accountable, and transparent, and
  • Agree that any new revenue should be dedicated to transportation.

"A lasting observation of the committee was that the average Missourian, including some who are very dependent upon transportation, lacked some basic knowledge of our state's transportation challenges and responsibilities," according to the report. "It became clear that anyone who cares about transportation issues that an education component would be extremely helpful."

The Blue Ribbon Citizens Committee on Missouri's Transportation Needs was created by the Missouri House of Representatives in 2012 to examine current and future transportation needs across the state and find solutions to address them.

The full 112-page report is available at bit.ly/MoTranspoReport. ​​

1/11/2013
Questions regarding this article may be directed to editor@aashtojournal.org.