With a unanimous vote Wednesday during a regularly scheduled meeting in Jefferson City, the four-member Highway and Transportation Commission sent to the voters a list of projects that would be constructed using funds from Constitutional Amendment 7.
The amendment, scheduled for the Aug. 5 ballot, would create a three-fourths cent sales tax that would generate an estimated $4.8 billion for transportation and infrastructure improvements in Missouri. The tax, if approved in August, would last 10 years.
Commission chairman Stephen Miller, Kansas City, called the upcoming vote the “most important decision regarding the state’s transportation future in a generation.”
The more than 800 projects on the finalized list includes everything from four major bridges over the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers, 330 smaller bridge replacements and rehabilitations, 3,255 miles of road resurfacing, including Missouri 79 from Saverton in Ralls County to the Lincoln County line near Elsberry, 749 miles of shoulder work improvement, and 31 interchanges, said Missouri Department of Transportation Chief Engineer Ed Hassinger.
Most notable in the project list is the expansion of Interstate 70 from four to six lanes throughout Missouri at a cost of over $823 million, making it the most expensive project in the state.
In a news conference, the commissioners and Hassinger were asked how they were going to construct these additional lanes on I-70 without closing or disrupting traffic on what they have previously called, “Missouri’s Main Street.”
“We are not going to shut the roadway down like we have on other projects (in the past),” Miller said.
Hassinger said the state’s transportation agency recognizes the construction on the I-70 corridor is the largest undertaking in recent MoDOT history.