Missouri shares road priorities if Amendment 7 passes

News-DemocratJuly 9, 2014 

Missouri residents will decide not only their own transportation fates on Aug. 5, but the future for Illinois commuters as well.

On Wednesday, the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission approved a list of projects that it would complete if Missourians approve Consititutional Amendment 7.

The amendment calls for a temporary sales tax of three-quarters of 1 percent, to be used only to fund state and local road projects with priority given to repairing unsafe roads and bridges. That increased amount would last for 10 years, with a projected total revenue of $4.8 billion according to MODOT.

The state expects to collect $480 million annually for Missouri's Transportation Safety and Job Creation Fund, and another $54 million for local governments. The St. Louis region, made up of the city and St. Louis, St. Charles, Jefferson and Franklin counties, would get $1.48 billion over the 10 years. The rest would go to Kansas City, Springfield and outstate Missouri.

The Commission's plans include several projects of special interest to those who live in Illinois:

*$200 million to improve Interstate 70 between Natural Bridge and Hanley roads, including the Interstte 70 and Interstate 170 interchange, for $200 million

*$18.77 million to improve the Delmar/Forest Park-DeBalivier Metrolink stations and make sidewalk/non-motoristized improvements in the Skinker/DeBalivier neighborhood

*$1.86 million to improve the Interstate 70 westbound North Broadway exit

*Improve sidewalks, such as $7.81 million in the Central Business District on Seventh Street and Eighth Street

*Reconfigure the road and improve sidewalks on Clark and Tucker streets in downtown St. Louis for $8.51 million

*Add sidewalks on Washington Avenue around Sheldown Concert Hall for $3.22 million

*$5.81 million to improve a ramp at Lambert to support freight movement

*$25 million toward Phase 1 of the St. Louis Streetcar system, a move contingent upon $271.5 million from other sources

*$18 million in a fixed funding contribution to Metro for the bus rapid transit route from downtown St. Louis to Interstate 270. That is contingent upon Metro providing $20 million.

* $8.9 million for a future light rail station; and $2 million for studies for light rail expansion and funding scenarios for a future phase

*$27.51 million to improve the Interstate 170 interchanges at Scudder Aveue and Airport Road

Have a commuting concern or driving joy to share? Contact reporter Mary Cooley at 618-239-2535, mcooley@bnd.com or follow her on twitter at @MaryCooleyBND.

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