Time running short to comment on transportation project list

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

SIKESTON - Missourians who wish to share their thoughts about a draft list of regional transportation projects have only a few more days to do so.

The list was released June 13 by the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission and was created with the help of local planning agencies and transportation groups. It is a requirement of Constitutional Amendment 7, a three-quarter-cent transportation tax that awaits voter approval in the Aug. 5 election.

Representatives from the Missouri Department of Transportation spent the past month touring the state to give the public an opportunity to look at the draft list and speak with local and state transportation officials about the projects.

The majority of the projects in Scott and Bollinger counties call for repairing or replacing bridges. Cape Girardeau County projects include bridge improvements, road resurfacing and an intermodal connection along Veterans Drive from East Main Street in Jackson to Route W in Cape Girardeau. Road resurfacing, bridge work and a new interchange on Interstate 55 north of Route T are on the list for Perry County.

These counties and others in the Southeast District also would receive funding for buses and public transportation services under the draft regional priority list.

Anyone interested in commenting on these projects and others has until 5 p.m. Thursday. An online comment form and the entire draft list will be available at modot.org/movingforward up to that time.

More than 900 comments have been received so far, according to MoDOT.

The project list and public comments will be submitted to the state transportation commission in Jefferson City, Missouri, for review and approval. The final list will be published for the public to consider in time for the August election.

The proposed transportation sales tax, which has a 10-year sunset, is expected to bring in as much as $534 million annually and was proposed initially as a way to cover a projected shortfall in MoDOT's budget. The majority of the funds would go toward statewide transportation projects, but cities and counties would each be allocated 5 percent for local transportation needs.

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