Missouri will be fortunate to keep the highways and bridges it has for the next 20 years, much less do any new construction. That was the bleak message from State Highway officials delivered at a Kansas City presentation Thursday.
MoDOT spent months listening to the public and local officials to put together a tentative long-range plan.
MoDOT Director Dave Nichols counts 12,000 suggested projects, far beyond what he calls a funding reality. Highway and Transportation Commission Chair Joe Carmichael said his group’s role is to find what Missourians want.
“Then it’s up to Missourians to figure out how they’re going to pay for it," said Carmichael. "This Commission is not going to dictate how Missouri is going to pay for its transportation future, that’s not our role.”
Nichols said the state fuel tax is of fading value paying for roads, state annual construction budget of $1.2 billion is slated to be less than half that by 2019.
To Nichols, new funding is the answer, short of cutting expectations.
MoDOT will keep asking for recommendations into February, then a 20-year plan will be drawn up.