The Missouri Department of Transportation has a few huge projects in its 5-year plan.
MoDOT Director Pete Rahn says there’s never enough money as thereare projects that need to be completed. Out of the $31 billionin unmet needs in Missouri, MoDOT’s newest plan will address about $6billion of those over the next five years.
That $31 billion, he says, "represents apared down number from the wish list from MoDOT’s partners at localplanning offices along with MoDOT."
"The first of those is the Safe and Sound Bridges initiative, this is the improvement of 802 of our worst bridges in the state," he says. Construction should begin by the end of summer, which he says is "very encouraging."
Rahn says there’s also stimulus funding providing $637 million for Missouri transportation projects underway in the state.Another huge project is the new Mississippi River Bridge.
The bad news is that the first two years of the plan are "artificially inflated," he says. After that, the amendment voters approved to provide that money, as well as stimulus funds, runs out.
"In 2011, when our program shrinks substantially, our roads are goingto be getting worse at that point rather than better," he says. Over last severalyears we have seen significant improvement in our roads and bridges "because of Amendment 3, passed by voters in 2004, the bonding program, those dolarswill be expended, we’ll be looking at a program that will at minimallysustain our state system."
Then, Rahn says voters will ultimately have to decide whether more money is allocated for needed improvements.