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Missouri transportation board approves five-year, $14.6B plan for roads, bridges

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(The Center Square) – The Missouri Department of Transportation’s governing board approved a five-year plan with $14.6 billion in projects, including improvements on Interstate 70 and 44.

The fiscal year 2025 to 2029 Statewide Transportation Improvement Program lists transportation projects being planned by state and regional agencies from July 1, 2025, to June 30, 2029. The plan, approved Wednesday by the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission, is the largest ever for the department.

The plan outlines improvements for the state’s 33,811 miles of roads and 10,392 bridges and culverts. Contractor awards for road and bridge construction are projected to receive $10.7 billion of the $14.6 billion, averaging approximately $2.1 billion per year.

“The available state road and bridge funds along with the work of the general assembly and Gov. (Mike) Parson continue to result in historic investments in transportation infrastructure that benefit Missourians across the state,” Patrick McKenna, director of the Department of Transportation, said in a statement. “We thank our regional planning partners who helped develop this plan. Delivering this high level of investment in projects is only possible because of the partnership between the MoDOT team and the private sector in design engineering and construction contractors.”

The plan said of the 10,392 bridges in the state, 759 are currently in poor condition and 869 are weight restricted.

“As bridges age, approximately 94 will fall into poor condition each year,” according to the plan. “From 2025-2027, the STIP invests in approximately 971 bridges (over 20 million square feet) with the goal of keeping the state’s number of poor condition bridges below 900.”

The department announced on Monday it would hold five public meetings on the I-44 project. The construction will take place along a 250-mile stretch of the highway from the Oklahoma state line to Franklin County, outside the St. Louis metropolitan area.

The I-44 project came a year after the legislature and Parson signed into law $2.8 billion to expand I-70 from four to six lanes from Kansas City to the western edge of the St. Louis area.

The legislature approved a budget in May with $727.5 million for the I-44 project, hundreds of millions more than the budget Parson proposed in January. Parson vetoed $150 million from the project last month.

“This funding allows for the completion of a number of major projects on I-44, while also providing cost savings for the next administration and general assembly to use in offsetting a number of projects included in this budget that were funded with budget stabilization funds, which was over appropriated,” Parson wrote in his veto letter.

The five-year plan states Missouri drivers pay $34 per month in fuel taxes and other fees to pay for the state’s road maintenance and improvements.

The department’s largest source of transportation revenue (38%) is federal funds, including the 18.4-cents per gallon tax on gasoline and 24.4-cents per gallon tax on diesel. Federal taxes haven’t increased since 1993, according to the plan.

The state fuel tax of 24.5 cents on gas and diesel is the second-largest source of revenue (25%) with 28% distributed to cities and counties.

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