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Missouri commission sends second allocation of $100M for repairing rural roads

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(The Center Square) – More than 1,800 lane miles of low-volume roads in poor condition throughout Missouri will receive $100 million for repairs and improvements this year.

The Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission announced the funding for three areas of projects. It marks the second consecutive year of $100 million in funding for the “Governor’s Rural Routes Program.”

The money will be allocated from general revenue funds designated in the 2024 fiscal year state budget. Last year, the program improved approximately 1,700 lane miles in 113 locations throughout the state.

“This investment from the state of Missouri to specifically target these minor and low volume routes is a huge boost in our effort to preserve our existing infrastructure,” Eric Schroeter, assistant chief engineer for the Missouri Department of Transportation, said in a statement. “We’ve worked quickly to get these projects identified and awarded, and we look forward to continuing to bring these improvements to life.”

The department conducted meetings with local planning partners throughout the state and analyzed data to organize, bundle and prioritize work on the projects. The roadways were grouped into 40 projects throughout the state. When construction is completed this year, the department will have made road improvements in 147 rural locations.

A map provided by the department shows most of the 2023 projects took place in northern portion of the state. The 2024 projects are mostly spread throughout northern Missouri, a central section south of Interstate 70, and the southwest corner of the state.

Schroeter emphasized the allocation of funds might signal approaching the completion of the program, but investment in improving the rural roads will continue.

“Our current Statewide Transportation Improvement Program includes a total of $1.74 billion worth of work on rural roads over the next five years, highlighting an historic effort to maintain in good condition the more than 57,000 minor and low volume lane miles across Missouri,” Schroeter said.

Missouri Republican Gov. Mike Parson’s fiscal year 2025 recommended budget includes $342 million from general revenue and $366 million from federal funds. More than $3.6 billion of the recommended budget comes from other funding sources, according to the state’s summary budget document.

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