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Missouri Department of Transportation

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MoDOT News Release 

For more information, contact Jeff Briggs, (573) 751-5985 or Sally Oxenhandler, (573) 751-7456.

March 26, 2008 12:00 AM
78 Percent of Missouri's Major Roads in Good Condition
Up From Only 46 Percent Three Years Ago

JEFFERSON CITY - Three years of record road construction throughout Missouri have brought 78 percent of the state's major roads up to good condition, according to new figures released by the Missouri Department of Transportation.  That's a sizable jump from three years ago when only 46 percent were in good condition.

Major roads include the interstates and heavily traveled U.S. routes such as 63, 60 and 36. 

More than 100 million miles a day are driven on the 5,573 miles of major roads in Missouri.  They carry 80 percent of all traffic, and 95 percent of Missourians live within 10 miles of one of these roads.

MoDOT's Smooth Roads Initiative, which improved 2,200 miles of the state's busiest highways in 2005 and 2006, accounts for much of the improved road conditions.  Constitutional Amendment 3, passed by voters in November 2004, funded that initiative.

Additional progress is being made through MoDOT's Better Roads, Brighter Future Program, which took up where the Smooth Roads Initiative left off.  Under the Better Roads program, the remainder of the state's major highways are getting smoother surfaces, wider stripes, brighter signs and paved shoulders.

"We're proud of the progress we've made with the resources Missourians have given us," MoDOT Director Pete Rahn said.  "When our Better Roads, Brighter Future program is finished at the end of 2011, 85 percent of our major roads will be in good condition.  What's more important is that good roads mean safer traveling."

Missouri's road improvements have drawn national attention.  A study conducted by The Pew Center on the States, a national public policy organization, stated,  "Most states have seen their infrastructure and transportation problems get worse over the past few years; Missouri is one of the few that has managed to improve." 

However, Rahn continued to drive home the message that the good times won't last forever.

"In 2010, funding for transportation will fall off a cliff," he said.  "We'll return to funding levels similar to those before Amendment 3.  This level of investment was inadequate then and will be dramatically more inadequate in 2010."

Rahn said Missouri citizens must ultimately decide if they're willing to increase funding for the state's transportation system and where to get the additional funding.

Editor's note:  Here's a breakdown of road condition improvements by region:

Northwest - Conditions of major roads in this area, which include I-29, I-229 and I-35 and Routes 71, 36, 59 and 136, have increased from 54.1 percent in good condition in 2004 to 79.9 percent in good condition in 2007.

North Central - Conditions of major roads in this area, which include Routes 36, 24, 65 and 63, have increased from 46.8 percent in good condition in 2004 to 62 percent in good condition in 2007.

Northeast - Conditions of major roads in this area, which include Routes 36, 24, 54, and 61, have increased from 56.9 percent in good condition in 2004 to 80 percent in good condition in 2007.

Kansas City Area - Conditions of major roads in this area, which include Interstates 70, 435, 29 and 35 and Routes 50, 7 and 71, have increased from 53.3 percent in good condition in 2004 to 76.3 percent in good condition in 2007.

Central - Conditions of major roads in this area, which include Interstate 70 and Routes 63, 54, 50 and 65, have increased from 40.2 percent in good condition in 2004 to 74.6 percent in good condition in 2007.

St. Louis Area - Conditions of major roads in this area, which include Interstates 70, 64/40, 44, 270, 55, 170 and Routes 30, 21 and Page Avenue, have increased from 53.6 percent in good condition in 2004 to 83.5 percent in good condition in 2007.

Southwest - Conditions of major roads in this area, which include Interstate 44 and Routes 71, 60, 54 and 37, have increased from 52 percent in good condition in 2004 to 95.8 percent in good condition in 2007.

Springfield Area - Conditions of major roads in this area, which include Interstate 44 and Routes 60, 65 and 13, have increased from 58.1 percent in good condition in 2004 to 84.6 percent in good condition in 2007.

South Central  - Conditions of major roads in this area, which include Interstate 44 and Routes 60, 63, 72 and 8, have increased from 58.9 percent in good condition in 2004 to 74.3 percent in good condition in 2007.

Southeast - Conditions of major roads in this area, which include Interstate 55 and Routes 60, 67, 72, 53 and 412, have increased from 26.5 percent in good condition in 2004 to 73 percent in good condition in 2007.
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