Missouri is running well ahead of federal expeditions for using federal economic recovery money on road projects.
Missouri made some national headlines earlier this year by being the first state to contract for a highway project with recovery act funds. The program requires all states to commit at least half of their money by next Monday….and Missouri has committed about 72 percent of its funds—more than 320-million dollars.
State Transpiration Department Director Pete Rahn says the biggest project in Missouri using this money is on I-55, in southeast Missouri, in an economically distressed area. "We took into account the economic conditions of counties and cities in determining which projects," he says. It’s a 44-mile pavement rehabilitation project in New Madrid, Pemiscot, and Scott Counties.
Rahn says that means opportunities in everal distressed parts of Missouri. The federal government figures each billion dollars in the program generates 28-thousand jobs. Rahn calculates the money Missouri has committed means nine-thousand direct and indirect jobs so far.
Federal guidelines require the remaining 28 percent of Missouri’s recovery act funds to be allocated by next March.