Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission

Elle Moxley / KCUR

The Missouri Department of Transportation’s move to reimagine Interstate 70 as the “road to tomorrow” raises more questions than it answers about the state’s central transit corridor.

“We’re making Interstate 70 across the midsection of our state available to the nation and to the world as the laboratory to construct the next generation of highways,” Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission Chairman Stephen Miller announced Wednesday.

Dan Verbeck / KCUR

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.

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The head of the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission has unveiled a plan for funding the state’s aging highways and bridges with a new one-cent sales tax.