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Toll Road

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While one legislative task force is touring the state to hear ideas about upgrading Missouri’s roads and bridges, another group of lawmakers is using an online survey to determine the best way to pay for it all.

Rep. Jeff Messenger, R-Republic, chairs the House Policy Development Caucus, which he said was formed to study “hard and difficult situations” in Missouri — including paying for transportation improvements.

Courtesy of the Missouri Department of Transportation

A panel created by the Missouri House to review the state's transportation needs met Monday in Columbia.

Most of the testimony heard by the Blue Ribbon Citizens Committee on Missouri's Transportation Needs centered on improving the state's highways, and whether those improvements should include a toll road -- be it I-70 or another major highway.  Bob Gilbert with the Jefferson City Chamber of Commerce told the panel that the state should also upgrade U.S. Highway 50.

(via Flickr/KOMUnews)

It appears unlikely that Missouri lawmakers will pass any legislation this year that would turn Interstate Highway 70 into a toll road.

Senate Transportation Chairman Bill Stouffer (R, Napton) says the proposal has gotten a lot of negative feedback.

“We had excellent hearings this year, but it became very clear that until we raise the awareness of the public and the need in the public that we would be spinning our wheels to move any further," Stouffer said.

(Manu Bhandar/KOMU)

Gov. Jay Nixon says voters should decide whether to install tolls along Interstate 70, though he would not say if he supports the idea.

The head of the Missouri Department of Transportation says charging tolls on Interstate 70 is the only real option for funding reconstruction of the highway, if the state wants to do something about it right now.

MoDOT Director Kevin Keith told a gathering of the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry Thursday that converting I-70 to a toll road could have short-term benefits, namely, job creation.

Courtesy of the Missouri Department of Transportation

A joint House-Senate committee in Jefferson City heard a proposal today for rebuilding Interstate Highway 70 in Missouri and turning it into a toll road. 

MoDOT Director Kevin Keith told the committee that charging tolls would provide the best opportunity to pay for rebuilding I-70.  But he acknowledges that it may not be an easy sell to lawmakers.

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