The Missouri Department of Transportation has issued an optimistic report to state lawmakers, with a cautious look to the future.
Independent reports indicate Missouri has gone from having the third worst pavement in the country to ninth best. Nearly three-quarters of the state’s major roads now are considered to be in good condition. Other studies show similar jumps in improvement.
MoDOT spokesman, Jeff Briggs, pinpoints improvement to voter approval of Amendment Three in 2004. The issued authorized a shift of state money from certain state agency’s to MoDOT. The legislation specified that the money must be leveraged through the use of bonds to pay for an accelerated highway construction program.
Briggs says the infusion of money brought the results sought. A Reason Foundation report indicates the overall performance of the state highway system rose from 28 th in the country to 17 th between 2004 and 2005. The report had ranked Missouri roads 39 th in 2000.
That revenue, though, will soon vanish. Briggs points out Amendment Three money will end in 2010, dropping highway spending from $1.23 billion dollars in 2008 to $569 million in two years. He says that will be enough to maintain the current system, but not enough to pay for new construction. Briggs says lawmakers will need to consider what Missouri wants in its highway system in order to keep receiving such optimistic annual reports.