Toll road talk at MODOT panel in Columbia

Missouri Department of Transportation Director Kevin Keith says making I-70 a toll road would allow for expansion of the interstate and would be a first for Missouri.

By Paige Sinker.

A group of panelists discussed the idea in a public forum Monday night. Keith explained that the main problem goes beyond I-70: It’s how we fund transportation in the state. He says the Public Private Partnership to fix 200 miles of I-70 is part of the solution.  State Representatives Chris Kelly and Stephen Webber organized the forum at the ARC, in Columbia. Other panelists included Representative Tom Long and Director of FMI Capital Advisors Inc. Colin Myer. MoDot Director Keith is keeping a positive outlook when it comes to transportation.

“What I learned the most about is there is a lot of interest in transportation. We had a room full of folks and we probably talked so much about transportation in general as I-70 and I think that’s encouraging,” Keith said.

The rebuilding of I-70 would cost an estimated $4 billion and take about six to eight years to complete. Keith says for every $1 billion spent on I-70, 30,000 jobs would be available. In the meantime, Keith says the roadbeds on I-70 are deteriorating and need to be replaced. The toll system would allow an expansion of the interstate.