The Transportation Department is evaluating the first batch of ideas for ways to rebuild and repair I-70, the aging interstate that spans the distance between Kansas City and St. Louis. Tom Blair with MODOT said all suggestions are needed.
“We haven’t increased the amount of funding that we as Missourians are putting into the transportation system at the state level for over twenty years,” said Blair. “We are sort of stuck. We are not getting enough money and we are barely scraping by to take care of what we have.”
Blair said there are some innovative ideas coming forward. Two that stand out involve solar roadway technology and advertising on right of ways.
“Many of these things have not been done in the United States because most of them will take some change in federal and state philosophy and law,” said Blair. “We are getting a lot of ideas from a lot of different avenues and educational backgrounds that I never would have thought of. It reinforces to me that there’s a lot of great innovators out there in the world with great thoughts. Everybody has an opinion on transportation. It’s important to them.”
Blair offered an update at the Highway Commission’s meeting Wednesday on the ideas submitted so far.