The state senate is trying to take the first step toward widening Missouri’s two longest interstate highways.
Something is ins the way of widening Interstates 70 and 44 so there are at least two lanes for trucks and two lanes for cars, each way.
Billboards. Hundreds of the things. Most of them are going to have to come out. State law says the transportation department has to pay full value for them if they’re removed.
The senate has started discussing Senator Bill Stouffer’s bill that will let the department remove many of them temporarily and then put them back in about the same relative position they were in with the old road.
Stouffer says his idea will save the department tens of millions of dollars.
In the end, there will be fewer billboard. Stouffer says about 30 percent of the removed signs will not be re-set. Stouffer says about half of the remaining 70 percent would be considered non-conforming signs because they’re too close together. When those signs wear out, fall down, or are blown down, or go without advertising for a few months, they cannot be replaced.
Discussion has just started on Stouffer’s bill.