Missourians decisively rejected a sales tax increase earmarked for transportation projects, making for a striking defeat for a well-financed campaign from proponents and a victory for an ideologically diverse opposition coalition.
The tax – commonly known as “Amendment 7” or the “transportation tax” – would have raised Missouri’s sales tax by 0.75 percent for 10 years. It would have also barred Missouri's policymakers from instituting tolls or raising the state’s gas tax during that same time period.
Missouri transportation commissioners have approved a list of projects totalling $4.8 billion that would be funded by a 0.75 percent sales tax that voters will decide next month.
The wish list contains more than 800 projects, most of them road and bridge improvements. If passed, money would go to replacing or improving 330 bridges across the state and resurfacing more than 3,200 miles of roads. But the list also includes improvements at 24 airports, seven river ports, 14 railroads, and 71 sidewalks.
This year’s array of snowstorms kept governmental entities across Missouri busy plowing roads. It hasn't been cheap to keep streets clear. And the expense is expected to go up as winter storms continue their blitz across the St. Louis area and the Show Me State.
To understand just how much more expensive this winter is than previous years, Missouri Department of Transportation’s Elizabeth Wright provides some perspective. She says it’s cost the state around $40 million to plow snow off state roads so far. But MoDOT spends on average $42 million every year.
The Missouri Department of Transportation is ending its five-year experiment with variable speed limit signs on Interstate 270.
Crews began removing the 70 digital signs from along the highway Wednesday. The work should be done in about two weeks.
MoDOT installed the signs in 2008 as a way to get traffic to slow down if there was congestion ahead. For the first three years, the speed limits they posted were enforceable, but MoDOT made them advisory-only in 2011.