Missouri’s transportation funding outlook has become so bleak that the state’s Highways and Transportation Commission has stopped adding new projects to its 5-year construction budget. That announcement came today during a transportation conference in Jefferson City. MoDOT Director Dave Nichols says their main mission will shift to maintenance of current roads and bridges.
“We’ve got to take care of what we have before we can invest in new, and we don’t even have enough money to invest in all the money we need to take care of what we have," Nichols said. "So what’s gonna happen is if we don’t have this investment to increase funding, then our system is gonna slowly over time deteriorate.”
Nichols says by the year 2017, Missouri is only expected to have 325 million dollars for road and bridge construction, which is 160 million dollars less than the current annual cost of maintaining the state’s roads and bridges. Transportation officials blame diminishing revenue from fuel taxes and rising costs for materials for much of the drop in available funding.