SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — The Missouri Department of Transportation is narrowing down what improvements are needed on Missouri roadways. To better understand where the money should go, they’re asking drivers to weigh in.
It’s part of a yearly update to prioritize un-funded transportation projects across the state.
“This is a list of projects or needs that are on deck for potential funding as funds become available,” said Frank Miller the Southwest District Planning Manager. “So, it helps us narrow down all those needs into what we can fund in the future.”
The cost to complete all projects on MoDot’s high priority unfunded needs list over the next ten years would total over 11 billion dollars. Here in Southwest Missouri, there are some key projects on the list the department thinks could benefit local drivers.
“Improvements 544 on the west side of Springfield from West Bypass, the Kansas Expressway and improving the I-40 nine Highway 171 interchange in Carthage,” Miller said. “Doing some additional widening on Kansas Expressway in Springfield because we have a first phase of that in our construction program. But there’s additional widening that’s going to be needed in the future.”
Springfield locals said that construction can cause headaches, but they would deal with the delays if it meant an easier commute when the work wraps up.
By speaking with driver’s themselves, MoDot can get a better picture of where improvements are needed the most.
The projects on the list will be considered for funding and eventually, some will be placed into the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) to be worked on in the next five years.
Miller said getting input and prioritizing with this list is a key step in the process.
“It takes so long to put some of these projects together and work through them,” Miller said. “We really need to kind of have that heads up, time to get things ready and understand the priorities.”
The draft document will be available for public review and comment on the MoDot website until August 31st.