Leaders of state transportation want Missouri to be a leader in national transportation innovation. The state Transportation Department is exploring the idea of constructing truck-only lanes for the state’s I-70 and I-44 cooridors, as it tackles the issue of how it is going to give those corridors a much needed renovation. Steve Wells is the Vice President of HNTB Corporation – a company that’s been working with the state Transportation Deparment for about 5 years. He says truck-only lanes are an innovative idea that could further streamline the flow of interstate traffic.

Kevin Keith is the chief engineer of the state Transportation Department.  He says the idea is to construct a four-line highway system that is separated into two lane corridors: one for large freight-vehicles, the other for standard passenger vehicles. He says the two truck-only lanes could be designed to withstand 100,000 pounds of freight, the separate corridors could have different speed limits and the corridors could provide alternate travel routes that could be accessed in the case of an accident. Keith says the enire renovation project would cost more than 7 million dollars. But, he says that price tag is comparable to the cost of renovating the corridors into three-lane highways with a wide median.

AUDIO: Laura McNamara reports (:60 MP3)