Missouri has received a federal grant of $92 million to improve Interstate 70. This news comes as the state legislature provides $2.8 billion for the Improve I-70 project.

MoDOT Director Patrick McKenna said the state plans to use the grant for specific projects along the roadway.

“When you’re looking at basic condition improvements and capacity expansion, that’s really not necessarily favored in a lot of those the federal construct of the bill, but we thought there was a unique opportunity with the discretionary grant to step into those areas,” he said.

Missouri will use the grant for truck parking, work zone safety technology, and workforce development, all while the Improve I-70 plan will work towards adding a third lane to the interstate.

“We want safety in the work zone while we’re working, here because this is going to be a seven-year construction project that goes on across the backbone of this state,” McKenna said. “So, we want to use safety technology to encourage safe driving behavior.”

From 2012 to 2021 there were 275 deaths and over 1,100 serious injury crashes on that stretch of road. According to department data, the economic impact is equal to over $300,000 per hour when freight movement on I-70 is stopped.

McKenna said this funding is key because of the dangers construction workers faced on I-270 in St. Louis.

“The construction workers were at risk,” he said. “We had equipment that was struck frequently. So, we want to inject technology into that. It’s not to say that goes directly toward enforcement, but it’ll help us target where enforcement should be in anticipation of us moving our work zones across the state.”

Construction to widen I-70 is scheduled to begin this summer.

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