For immediate release
March 15, 2017
For more information, contact
Anne Freand at (573) 265-2993
TAC learns about transportation funding
ST. JAMES—Most drivers in Missouri spend more on their cell phone each month than they do on transportation funding, Preston Kramer, Meramec area engineer with the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT), told members of the Meramec Regional Planning Commission’s (MRPC) Transportation Advisory Committee (TAC) at its Feb. 16 meeting. The average Missouri driver pays about $30 per month in state and federal fuel taxes and fees. Kramer was sharing information from the recently released “Citizen’s Guide to Transportation Funding.”
In an effort to educate and inform Missourians on the current status and future direction of their transportation system, MoDOT created the “Citizen’s Guide to Transportation Funding” that takes the complex issues of the state’s transportation revenue, expenditures, system condition and unfunded needs and explains them in clear and easy-to-understand terms.
“The Citizen’s Guide was created to better educate our customers on how their transportation system is funded, where that funding goes and what is done with it and how transportation funding in Missouri compares to our neighbors and nationwide,” Kramer said.
Included on the “Citizen’s Guide to Transportation Funding” is a transportation calculator, which figures an individual’s monthly contribution with just four simple questions. For example, if you drove approximately 20,000 miles in the state of Missouri last year, your car gets 20 miles per gallon, is gas-fueled, and you didn’t purchase a car last year, your contribution would be $32.79/month. This does not take into consideration the hidden costs of transportation from operating your vehicle on roads in poor condition, such as accelerated vehicle depreciation, additional vehicle repair costs, increased fuel consumption and increased tire wear.
“We currently spend about $1.4 billion annually towards our roads and bridges, but while we are treading water here in the Meramec Area, we are not statewide,” Kramer explained about the current state transportation situation. “In the more rural areas of Missouri (primarily north of Route 36), we will not be able to maintain the current conditions of roads and bridges. An investment of an additional $50 million annually would allow us to maintain the current conditions of our roads and bridges statewide. Any additional funding on top of that could be used on projects that increase safety and promote economic development.”
Currently, Missouri has the 7th largest highway system in the United States. However, Missouri is ranked 47th nationally in revenue per mile.
“We will continue to do everything we can with what we have, but there are many, many projects and unmet transportation needs that our customers want that we cannot provide and will not be able to provide because we cannot afford to.” Kramer said.
For those interested in seeing what their contribution to the state’s transportation funding is, visit www.modot.org/guidetotransportation/.
In other business, the TAC:
- Heard an update on the Coalition for Roadway Safety’s education initiatives;
- Received updates on the Regional Transportation Plan (RTP), the Public Transit and Human Services Transportation Coordination Plan (PTHSTCP) and the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) meeting coming up;
- Learned of progress on 2017 MoDOT construction projects. The Hwy. 42 bridge and Pulaski County roundabout are currently in process and work, including brush removal, pipes and ditch repair around Hwy. V in Phelps County is beginning.
- Received an update on Rolla’s Transportation Development District (TDD) and reviewed the projects to include the reshaping of Hwy. 63 and the west side commercial development. They are in the process of selling bonds and tax credits and acquiring property along the Hwy. 72 extension; and
- Heard a request from Larry Helms of Pulaski County that signage be placed on Hwy. PP where it changes from blacktop to gravel as several people are being incorrectly directed along this route and not slowing down in time for the pavement change.
Persons needing more information on MRPC’s Transportation Advisory Committee may contact MRPC at (573) 265-2993. The group will meet again at 4 p.m. April 13 at MRPC, 4 Industrial Dr., St. James. Meetings are open to the public.
Formed in 1969, MRPC is a voluntary council of governments serving Crawford, Dent, Gasconade, Maries, Osage, Phelps, Pulaski and Washington counties and their respective cities. A professional staff of 25, directed by the MRPC board, offers technical assistance and services, such as grant preparation and administration, housing assistance, transportation planning, environmental planning, ordinance codification, business loans and other services to member communities.
To keep up with the latest MRPC news and events, visit the MRPC website at www.meramecregion.orgor on Facebook at www.facebook.com/meramecregion/.