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MODOT submits annual report to General Assembly

By Marshall Griffin, KWMU

Jefferson City, MO – Major improvements on paved roads and sound financial practices highlight the Missouri Department of Transportation's annual report to the legislature.

The results include Missouri's major paved roads going from third-worst in the nation to ninth-best, and an independent audit showing that MODOT regularly spends money efficiently.

Spokesperson Jeff Briggs says, though, they're concerned about funding, which will drop by over 600 million dollars in the year 2010.

"We're going to be able to focus only on maintenance...we will no longer be able to build a lot of the new improvements...new bridges, newer wider highways, a lot of things to address congestion and economic development," Briggs said.

Lawmakers are expected to use the results of the report to craft transportation bills during the 2008 legislative session, which starts in January.

"We hear everything from a general sales tax increase to a fuel tax increase, to toll roads, to initiative petitions to get something on the ballot directly from the people...all of these things have been discussed, and the good news there is that a lot of people recognize that something has to be done to generate additional transportation revenue," Briggs said.

None of those proposals have yet to be officially drafted as legislation.

A copy of the complete report can be obtained by calling 1-888-ASK-MODOT, or by visiting the department's Web site:

www.modot.org

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