Missouri's transportation director says the state is nearing a crisis in highway funding and may have to turn away federal dollars unless it comes up with more of its own money for roads.
Department Director Kevin Keith told The Associated Press on Monday the agency now believes it must make about $300 million in cost cuts to free up enough state money to match federal highway dollars over the next five years. The department last year had set a goal of $200 million of savings.
The department was planning to do the construction during the summer months, says district engineer Ed Hassinger. They've been watching the stretch of road between Turkey Track and Christy for the last couple of years.
As of today, the Missouri Department of Transportation has used plows and salt spreaders like these to spread more than 20,000 tons of salt and other materials on roads to fight this week's major winter storms. (Rachel Lippmann, St. Louis Public Radio)
The winter storm system that blanketed the region with snow overnight caused problems on area roads this morning. A few inches of snow were on the ground in St. Louis and suburbs, but that was enough to cause a large number of traffic accidents, mostly fender –benders. Most schools in the regions are closed. The Missouri Department of Transportation is warning motorists to exercise caution on overpasses and ramps. Drifting snow will continue to cause low visibility.
A St. Louis police officer is recovering after being dragged by a suspect's car during a traffic stop. Authorities say the officer pulled over the suspect because he believed he saw drugs in the car. They say the suspect rolled up his window, trapping the officer's arm in his car and dragging him a short distance. The officer's injuries were not serious. The suspect was arrested after crashing following a police chase.
The Missouri Department of Transportation is asking Missourians to take an online survey about the state rail plan. Through the survey, MoDOT is seeking information about rail services, challenges, opportunities, costs and benefits from the public's point of view.
"It's always a challenge to pay for all the transportation services and improvements Missourians tell us they want, so how the state invests our rail transportation dollars says a lot about our priorities and has a major impact on the state's economy. " - MoDot Director Kevin Keith.
Cracks are seen in the shoulder of I-70 near the exit to the Providence Road in Columbia, Mo. The budget for the Missouri Department of Transportation is expected to drop by nearly half in 2011. (Via Flickr/ KOMUnews, Manu Bhandari)
In 2011, crews will complete a new ramp connecting Interstate 270 and Page Avenue, says Bill Schnell, MoDOT's assistant district engineer in the St. Louis area. They'll also finish MoDOT's portion of the Route 141 extension in West County.