The state transportation department’s new five-year construction plan does not avoid the inevitable. It just puts it off.

Every year the department revises its five-year construction plan. But the plan underlines the coming sharp drop in funding after this fiscal year’s projects. And this fiscal year is the last hurrah for major projects.

Federal stimulus money will let the department do 1.3-million dollars worth of work. But Chief Engineer Kevin Keith says lack of state funding after that will drop available dollars to less than one-third that within five years.

But in five years, the department thinks it will have only 421 million dollars for roads and bridges. It already spends more than that on maintaining the present system, meaning in five years there won’t be money for new work….and less will be available then than is used now just for maintenance—unless Missourians are convinced to approve some kind of new tax system for transportation.

Upload BP’s interview of Kevin Keith (8:31 mp3)