I-70 a Toll Road?

The Missouri Department of Transportation says it will support legislation to turn Interstate 70 into a toll road.

by Tom Martin (Columbia, Mo.)

The Missouri Department of Transportation says it will support legislation to turn Interstate 70 into a toll road.  MoDOT says it needs $1.5 to $4 billion to rebuild the interstate and favors a toll over a fuel tax increase.  The plan is for a public-private partnership that would allow contractors to rebuild the interstate and receive compensation from toll money.  State Senator Bob Stouffer is the chair of the Senate Transportation Committee. He agrees a toll may be the best solution.

“I-70 is totally worn out. We are 50 years into a 20-year life … From an economic standpoint, it makes a lot of sense. From a political standpoint, it’s very tough when you’re in a recession for the public to, you know, buy a tax increase,” Stouffer said.

The US Department of Transportation gave MoDOT approval to toll I-70 in order to rebuild back in 2005.  Senator Stouffer expects the proposal will be filed December 1st.