The new chairman of the State Highways and Transportation Commission believes a lot of people misunderstand what has happened to the 15-year highway plan of 1992. Kansas City businessman Oillie Gates says the plan is still there, that its projects are still being developed, but in a more gradual fashion. Gates says the transportation department is trying to make progress that makes sense, given its lack of money. Gates hopes voters will consider a new transportation tax package next year. Gates replaces former Commission Chairman S. Lee Kling of St. Louis, who became a lightning rod for controversy, both from rural lawmakers who blamed him for a shift of highway monies to the cities and from Republicans who pointed out his work as a fund-raiser for Democrats.
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