The state transportation department says it’s spreading asphalt as fast as it can to meet a challenge from Governor Blunt….and thinks it might get ‘er done. The transportation department had promised to re-surface 22-hundred miles of roads by the end of next year….until Governor Blunt issued a challenge in his state of the state speech in January: “As you drive across Missouri you are seeing new construction on virtually all our major highways. When complete, Missouri’s Smooth Roads Initiative will deliver a total of 2,200 miles of safer, smoother and improved roads. MoDOT has turned the corner and is earning the trust of Missouri taxpayers because they are eliminating the problems that confronted them in the past and they are now focused on one central mission, “building and maintaining roads.” I know they are up to the challenge, and tonight, I call upon the State Highways and Transportation Commission and their Director, Pete Rahn, to complete the Smooth Roads Initiative by December 31, 2006 – one year ahead of schedule.” Department director Pete Rahn says the department might just make it. He says 800 miles have been resurfaced.That leaves 14-hundred miles to complete. But it also means there are four months of declining construction weather to finish the rest. But Rahn says many of those 14-hundred miles have been paved but still need pavement markings and signs. He says the program is the best thing the department can do to improve the roads for 60 percent of the drivers in Missouri. Rahn says the department is not trying to treat major problems with a bandaid. He says places that need rebuilding instead of re-surfacing are being rebuilt or are targeted for rebuilding.
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