Wednesday, April 2, 2008

78 Percent of Missouri's Major Roads in Good Condition

JEFFERSON CITY - Three years of record road construction throughout Missouri have brought 78 percent of the state's major roads up to good condition, according to new figures released by the Missouri Department of Transportation. That's a sizable jump from three years ago when only 46 percent were in good condition.

Major roads include the interstates and heavily traveled U.S. routes such as 63, 60 and 36.
More than 100 million miles a day are driven on the 5,573 miles of major roads in Missouri. They carry 80 percent of all traffic, and 95 percent of Missourians live within 10 miles of one of these roads.

MoDOT's Smooth Roads Initiative, which improved 2,200 miles of the state's busiest highways in 2005 and 2006, accounts for much of the improved road conditions. Constitutional Amendment 3, passed by voters in November 2004, funded that initiative.

Additional progress is being made through MoDOT's Better Roads, Brighter Future Program, which took up where the Smooth Roads Initiative left off. Under the Better Roads program, the remainder of the state's major highways are getting smoother surfaces, wider stripes, brighter signs and paved shoulders.

"We're proud of the progress we've made with the resources Missourians have given us," MoDOT Director Pete Rahn said. "When our Better Roads, Brighter Future program is finished at the end of 2011, 85 percent of our major roads will be in good condition. What's more important is that good roads mean safer traveling."

Missouri's road improvements have drawn national attention. A study conducted by The Pew Center on the States, a national public policy organization, stated, "Most states have seen their infrastructure and transportation problems get worse over the past few years; Missouri is one of the few that has managed to improve."

However, Rahn continued to drive home the message that the good times won't last forever.
"In 2010, funding for transportation will fall off a cliff," he said. "We'll return to funding levels similar to those before Amendment 3. This level of investment was inadequate then and will be dramatically more inadequate in 2010."

Rahn said Missouri citizens must ultimately decide if they're willing to increase funding for the state's transportation system and where to get the additional funding.

Editor's note: Here's a breakdown of road condition improvements by region:
Northwest - Conditions of major roads in this area, which include I-29, I-229 and I-35 and Routes 71, 36, 59 and 136, have increased from 54.1 percent in good condition in 2004 to 79.9 percent in good condition in 2007.

North Central - Conditions of major roads in this area, which include Routes 36, 24, 65 and 63, have increased from 46.8 percent in good condition in 2004 to 62 percent in good condition in 2007.

Northeast - Conditions of major roads in this area, which include Routes 36, 24, 54, and 61, have increased from 56.9 percent in good condition in 2004 to 80 percent in good condition in 2007.
Kansas City Area - Conditions of major roads in this area, which include Interstates 70, 435, 29 and 35 and Routes 50, 7 and 71, have increased from 53.3 percent in good condition in 2004 to 76.3 percent in good condition in 2007.

Central - Conditions of major roads in this area, which include Interstate 70 and Routes 63, 54, 50 and 65, have increased from 40.2 percent in good condition in 2004 to 74.6 percent in good condition in 2007.

St. Louis Area - Conditions of major roads in this area, which include Interstates 70, 64/40, 44, 270, 55, 170 and Routes 30, 21 and Page Avenue, have increased from 53.6 percent in good condition in 2004 to 83.5 percent in good condition in 2007.

Southwest - Conditions of major roads in this area, which include Interstate 44 and Routes 71, 60, 54 and 37, have increased from 52 percent in good condition in 2004 to 95.8 percent in good condition in 2007.

Springfield Area - Conditions of major roads in this area, which include Interstate 44 and Routes 60, 65 and 13, have increased from 58.1 percent in good condition in 2004 to 84.6 percent in good condition in 2007.

South Central - Conditions of major roads in this area, which include Interstate 44 and Routes 60, 63, 72 and 8, have increased from 58.9 percent in good condition in 2004 to 74.3 percent in good condition in 2007.Southeast - Conditions of major roads in this area, which include Interstate 55 and Routes 60, 67, 72, 53 and 412, have increased from 26.5 percent in good condition in 2004 to 73 percent in good condition in 2007.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm glad to hear that Mo is finally improving our roads but living in a rural area I really don't get to see it and feel a little left out. There have been a few improvements around here which are nice but some seem really unnecessary when there are some other roads in desperate need. I live off of 139 by Powersville, it very seldom has anything done to it but is actually very well traveled and is a dangerous road. There is a lot of semi traffic and the road is made up to the standards it should for semi's. I have seen cars get blown off the road in slick weather, etc..because it is so narrow. Its barely wide enough for good weather. Also almost gravel off of it is on the side of a hill so almost every turn off is dangerous.

Ricky said...

I do see some major improvements in our state on highways. I really like the idea of the median bar placed on I-44. It has proven to be a success in dropping accidents, especially head on collisions. I also noticed the big project going on in South Springfield on James River and Republic. That will really make a big difference in traffic along that route. I still think that we should try our best in getting 6 lanes on James River through the city limits of Springfield. I see 6 lanes needed along Hwy 65 from I-44 down to Ozark as a major problem that needs to be corrected as soon as possible. Not only is the traffic bad but the merging on and off the highway is causing accidents because of the overhaul of traffic on these highways. Southwest Missouri is seeing a fast pace growth and it really needs to vamp up on the number of lanes holding traffic. Hwy 14 from Ozark to Nixa is extremely busy with traffic all hours of the day. It for sure needs to be looked at in adding more lanes and straighter highway. I hope this comment helps out in ideas that is needed to get us on track for better safer highways in Missouir.

Sam said...

Now it is time to do some work on the rural roads in Mo. they are just falling apart .
Its like the people on the back roads are out of sight and out of mind .
I ride a motorcycle and like to take the back roads and enjoy the views and nature but the roads are so bad in the areas surrounding the KC area its dangerous dodging pot holes and wash outs .
We pay state taxes too just not the people living along the 10 mile area around the interstates.

Just ask the MODOT maintenance workers about their backroads , they will let you know , let them have a word just not the people behind the desks at District offices and Jeff City .
Listen to the rural people , We need better roads , give us a little SRI Some Road Improvements

Anonymous said...

Ricky,

Thanks for you comments about the southwest Missouri projects. Next year we will begin work improving the James River Freeway and Route 65 interchange in Springfield. This will include some additional capacity on James River Freeway between Glenstone Avenue and Route 65, which has the highest traffic count in southwest Missouri. In 2010 we will start six-laning Route 65 from James River Freeway to Battlefield Road. Pending Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission approval, we hope to continue six-laning Route 65 from Battlefield Road to Chestnut Expressway in 2011 and 2012. We have also done some preliminary work on the Route 14 corridor between Nixa and Ozark to allow those cities to require necessary right-of-way from developers for a future widened roadway. However, the only piece of that corridor that we have funded at this time is the Route 65/Route 14 interchange in Ozark, which will start this summer.

Much of the work you have been seeing in southwest Missouri has been made possible by Amendment 3 bonds, but our funding is projected to dramatically decrease after 2010. We'll need most of our funding to take care of the bridges and pavements that we have now. As a result, there are no funds identified to continue improvements to Route 65, James River Freeway and Route 14 beyond what I described above.

If you are a resident of the City of Springfield, you will have the opportunity to vote on a continuation of the 1/8th cent sales tax for transportation in August. The plan is to use this tax revenue to leverage City funds with those of MoDOT, allowing us to accelerate some of the work on Route 65 while being able to do some projects that we wouldn't be able to do otherwise, including work to improve traffic flow at several freeway interchanges in Springfield. You'll certainly be hearing more about this proposal this summer.

Thanks again for the comments!

Frank Miller - District Planning Manager - MoDOT Springfield Area District

Anonymous said...

I applaud all of the work being done on our roads. MODOT and contractors have worked very hard to fix the raods, but what happened to the 800 bridge that were going to be fixed.

Are we going to wait till a bridge falls before any actions are done? The project would provide jobs for Missouri workers, put our tax dollars to work in Missouri versus in Alaska or Illinois. Our roads my be at 78% but are we still in the top five of dangerous bridges.

Anonymous said...

Where's the statistics for the minor roads with a breakdown of road condition improvements/deterioration by each region (district)

Matt Hiebert said...

Regarding the statistics for minor roads: contact your district office at 1-888-275-6636 for any direct questions regarding MoDOT policy or procedure. The blog will only display comments from citizens and officials related to the posting topic. You will also get a much more detailed, refined answer to your question. Thanks for posting!