MoDOT is holding public comment sessions to gather feedback on a proposed transportation tax in Missouri.
The proposed Amendment 7 introduces a three-quarter cent sales tax that would fund transportation projects over a 10 year time period from 2015 to 2025. Voters will decide on the August fifth primary election ballot.
For years now the state of Missouri’s infrastructure has been a concern for public officials, politicians and Missourians on the whole.The Missouri Department of Transportation and state legislators have come up with a way to combat the department’s shrinking budget, but it’s up to Missouri voters to approve it. Amendment 7 will be on the August ballot: it’s a three quarter cent statewide sales tax increase on everything except groceries and medicine.
If you had $1.49 billion for transportation projects, how would you spend it? Would you repair highways? Bolster mass transit service? Enhance bike lanes?
This isn’t some academic exercise. The St. Louis region’s political leaders are considering how to divide the potential proceeds from a 0.75 percent sales tax increase for transportation. These decisions could have a transformative impact on how St. Louis area residents get around.
But here’s the twist: You have to make this decision very, very quickly.
The Missouri Department of Transportation has begun re-opening many Mid-Missouri roads and highways that were closed due to flooding, but some county roads are still affected, particularly those near the Osage River.
MODOT reopened the 14 mile stretch of I-44 near Jerome southwest of Rolla Thursday morning, which had been closed for nearly 24 hours. Highway 63 near Westphalia was also closed Wednesday afternoon due to water on the road, but that route was also re-opened Thursday morning.
Ridership on Amtrak's Missouri River Runner passenger trains between Kansas City and St. Louis has increased for the sixth straight year.
MoDOT says nearly 197,000 passengers rode the train in the fiscal year that ended June 30. That's an increase of roughly 5,000 riders from the previous year.
The increase means more revenue from tickets, which reduces the financial support required from the state. Ticket revenue was $5.4 million in the latest fiscal year, compared with $5 million the previous year.
Missouri is one of 13 states that will get federal grant money to improve road conditions.
As a part of the Everyday Counts initiative Missouri was granted $150,000 to implement new road technology to improve road safety. Travis Koestner, Assistant District Engineer at Missouri Department of Transportation, says this money will go towards a road re-surfacing project using High Friction Surface Treatment.
The Missouri Department of Transportation has a new chief engineer.
Transportation director Dave Nichols has tapped Ed Hassinger for the post. Hassinger was the department's top engineer for the St. Louis region for the last 12 years. He has been with the department for almost 30 years.
The collapse of a county highway bridge in southeast Missouri on Saturday was almost certainly not due to structural defects. And the fact that this collapse came on the heels of a similar disaster in Washington state is unfortunate but not necessarily related. Yet it's just a plain fact that bridges in Missouri are aging rapidly and are in serious need of repair.
Civil engineers say Missouri's infrastructure gets only a C-minus.
The regional chapters of the American Society of Civil Engineers released the letter grade Wednesday. It is part of a report card that evaluated the state's aviation, bridges, dams, drinking water, energy, inland waterways, levees, railroads, roads, schools and wastewater. Each sub-category also received a grade.
A proposed 1-cent sales tax for transportation has stalled in the Missouri Legislature.
The sales tax proposal was projected to generate nearly $8 billion over a decade for state highways, local roads and other modes of transportation such as railroads, airports, mass transit and river ports. Cities and counties would each get 5 percent of the revenues, with the rest going to state projects. Voters would have had to approve the tax in 2014 to enact the proposal.
The Missouri Department of Transportation reports that it's filled more than 10,000 potholes in central Missouri in the past month, as part 0f its "Missouri Pothole Patrol" program to address problems on roadways produced by the spring thawing. MoDot launched the pothole patrol in mid-march in an effort to fix Missouri potholes as soon as possible.
The program was in effect from March 18th to April 15th. Mo-Dot’s Sally Oxenhandler says that even though the department filled over ten thousand potholes, there is still work to be done.
For Earth Day, the Missouri Department of Transportation hosted its 11th annual “No MOre Trash! Bash. Department employees volunteered to pick up litter and debris along a stretch of Route 94 in Callaway "County. This year nine people showed up to spend a few off-the-clock hours taking care of Missouri’s roads.
The event is a way for MoDOT to highlight their Adopt-a-Highway program, where anyone can volunteer to maintain a stretch of roadway. District engineer David Silvester says he hopes raising awareness of the program will also get more volunteers.
The Missouri Department of Transportation has issued a travel advisory for the weekend because of anticipated snowfalls of up to three inches per hour that could make driving nearly impossible at times.
Rain is expected to turn to snow Saturday afternoon across the state, posing a risk for travelers because of the rate of snowfall and lack of visibility. The storm is expected to continue until about noon Sunday in the western part of Missouri and taper off across the state throughout the day.
The director of Missouri's Department of Transportation is taking a medical leave of absence and plans to resign his post.
The department announced Thursday that Kevin Keith's leave is effective immediately and he will resign July 1.
Chief engineer David Nichols will serve as interim director until the state Highways and Transportation Commission appoints a new director. Commission chairman Joe Carmichael says Nichols will remain interim director for at least one year.
The proposed constitutional amendment would create a one-cent sales tax that would expire after 10 years. It’s co-sponsored by State Senator Mike Kehoe (R, Jefferson City). He says the one-penny tax would not be levied on groceries, prescription medicine or fuel.
Officials are discouraging travel in southeastern Missouri until crews clear the roads from what was expected to be heavy snowfall with blizzard conditions.
The National Weather Service placed 13 counties from the Bootheel to north of Cape Girardeau under a blizzard warning from Tuesday night to midday today. Total accumulations were expected to range from three inches in the Bootheel to 12 inches farther north.
Missouri drivers may notice some ominous messages along the state's roadsides.
The Missouri Department of Transportation says it has begun using its electronic message signs along highways to report the number of people who have died on the state's roads so far this year. The messages also include the percentage of those killed who were not wearing seat belts.
The new safety campaign comes as Missouri has seen a 14 percent increase in traffic fatalities this year — an unwelcome reversal after six years of declining fatality figures.