Thursday, September 24, 2009


No, we're not using this post to cheer for the Missouri Tigers, although I'll have to admit that their 3-0 start has been impressive. Hope the Nevada game is not an ambush in the desert!

This entry is about MoDOT's submission last week of an application for a TIGER Discretionary Grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation. In this case, TIGER stands for "Transportation Investments Generating Economic Recovery" and it is a special program that is part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).

The program was announced in the spring, giving states and local entities the opportunity to compete for $1.5 billion in stimulus funds to enable transportation projects that otherwise were not possible. Projects were to range from $20 million to $300 million in cost and able to be built by February of 2012. No state could receive more than $300 million total.

MoDOT's I-70 team worked hard all summer to develop its application to build up to 30 miles of truck-only lanes on Interstate 70 in Saline and Cooper Counties. The application was for $200 million. MoDOT would add $40 million to that for a $240 million project. If selected, this project would revolutionize interstate corridors that have heavy freight movements, separating cars from long-haul semis. It would demonstrate just how the concept would improve safety, reduce congestion and allow for efficiencies in freight flows.

The MoDOT application and all of its supporting information can be found at

Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood has indicated that projects will be selected by January 15, 2010. In the meantime, we'll be keeping our fingers crossed that this innovative project is chosen, and hoping that Coach Gary Pinkel's Tigers keep up their winning ways.


Anonymous said...

Truck only lanes are a poor investment. The future of freight should be in rail. The expansion of interstates and their maintenance costs are going to be a detriment to our future. Once they are built, there is no going back.

Anonymous said...

It is quite unfortunate that MoDOT refused to embrace TIGER's vision for sustainable transportation that improves the livability of communities. This truck lane scheme is just one more piece of evidence that MoDOT is a highway department, not a transportation department. It's so far off the mark from the TIGER selection criteria that it's laughable.

Local communities like Kansas City turned in very innovative applications that included integrated transportation projects that encompass transit, bicycling, walking, and freight rail. If MoDOT won't development it's own multi-modal projects then it should at least support the local communities instead of competing against them.

Anonymous said...

Another example of MODOH, the Missouri Department of Highways or MO-Dough for the concrete lobby. Some things never change.