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Mo. hitting the brakes on rest stop renovations over lack of funds

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(via Flickr/KOMUnews)
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Interstate 70 near the exit to Providence Road in Columbia, Mo.

MoDOT does not have enough money budgeted to finish reducing the number of rest areas along Missouri’s interstate highways.

A plan adopted 11 years ago called for reducing the number of facilities from 34 down to 24.  Today, there are 27 facilities open at 17 sites.

MoDOT Assistant Chief Engineer Don Hillis says it’ll take more than $96 million to finish the work.

“Going forward, obviously, we don’t have the $96 million funded," Hillis said.  "We have not chosen to fund the remaining phases, but as opportunities present (themselves) we hope to make progress on the plan.”

Hillis also says annual maintenance costs for rest areas have been cut by $800,000 since MoDOT began reducing and renovating them in 2000.

“We’ve determined that rest areas and welcome centers are very important in Missouri, from a safety standpoint, from a customer satisfaction standpoint…at this point, with everything we know about funding, we plan to continue to operate welcome centers and rest areas in Missouri, just fewer," Hillis said. 

Marshal was a political reporter for St. Louis Public Radio until 2018.

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