I-70 Anti-Toll Bill
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I-70 Anti-Toll Bill

Date: January 30, 2012
By: Cole Karr
State Capitol Bureau
Links: HB 1277

Lawmakers are looking to private companies to improve Interstate 70.
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Wrap: A proposed bill in the Missouri House would ban the Missouri Department of Transportation from imposing a toll on Interstate 70.

Springfield Republican Representative Thomas Long sponsors the bill. It would put I-70 improvements in the hands of private companies. He says this bill is similar to a bill vetoed last year by Governor Nixon.

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Description: It was vetoed by the governor because he felt like it opened up the possibility of tolls, which we are not interested in opening up. It does offer some private public partnerships, but in a little bit more of a creative way.

Southeast Missouri Democratic Representative Joe Fallert says he is unsure of the public-private partnership... but is open to the conversation and to any and all options.

Reporting from the state Capitol I'm Cole Karr.

MoDOT says funding cuts in the past years is a reason behind the I-70 toll proposal
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Wrap: The Transportation Department has federal approval to toll Interstate 70 through Missouri from Wentzville to Blue Springs.

MoDOT Director of Customer Relations Marah Campbell says the cost for improving the roadway could be up to 4 billion dollars.

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Description: It's just not possible to think that we would ever be able to tackle a project of the magnitude of I-70. So, in reality tolling I-70 may be the only way this project could ever get accomplished.

Campbell says MoDOT cannot fund such a project with a 600-million dollar budget.

Republican Senator Bill Stouffer says a toll road is only a short-term solution to a long-term problem.

Reporting from the state Capitol I'm Cole Karr.

How to fund improvements for Missouri roads may soon be a topic of conversation in the statehouse.
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Wrap:  Legislators in the Missouri General Assembly are reacting to the transportation department's I-70 toll proposal.

Lawmakers are trying to find other solutions besides tolls.

Southeast Missouri Democratic Representative Joe Fallert says funding for transportation improvement is a conversation to be had.

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Description: There's no free roads in Missouri whether we call them toll or not. That doesn't mean I'm endorsing the tolls... but somebody's got to pay for this and our taxes are the lowest of the eight surrounding states.

However, Republican Representative Thomas Long says he's working on a bill to lower gas tax and increase diesel tax to help solve the issue.

Reporting from the state Capitol, I'm Cole Karr.

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