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Transportation Department Kills 15-Year-Plan

November 10, 1998
By: Lee McGuire
State Capital Bureau
Links: http://www.modot.state.mo.us

intro: Missouri's Transportation Commission today killed a plan that was to supposed to overhaul the state's roads by 2007. Lee McGuire has more on how the plan behind the state's 6-cents-a-gallon gas tax went bad.

The Missouri Transportation Department says completing the 15-year plan would cost the state at least 5 billion dollars more than originally thought. Probably much more.

That's one reason the Highway Commission voted to stop using it as a blueprint for highway construction. Chairman Lee Kling says no one accounted for cost overruns when the plan was conceived in 1992.

Actuality:kling1.wav
RunTime: 10
OutCue:
Contents: He says there isn't enough money to do it.

The gas tax was supposed to help cover costs, but it wasn't enough. Now the state has adopted a new strategy - this time a five year plan - to prioritize construction projects and, it says, to stay within the budget. In Jefferson City, Lee McGuire, KMOX News.


intro: What started as a gas tax hike and a triumph for state government six years ago ended with apologies today/Tuesday when the state Highway and Transportation Commission killed its 15-year plan. Lee McGuire has more from Jefferson City.

ltm321

The 15-year plan was supposed overhaul existing highways and build new ones throughout Missouri.

But an audit of the plan's finances revealed a projected deficit of at least 5 billion dollars. Highway and Transportation Commission Chair Lee Kling says that was just too much.

Actuality:kling2.wav
RunTime: 12
OutCue:
Contents: He says they want to come clean and move on.

Now the door is open for new construction projects.

St. Louis Regional Commerce and Growth Association Director Richard Fleming says he hopes next year's legislature will consider new taxes to fund construction on Highway 40 and I-70 in the St. Louis area. In Jeff City, LTM KMOX.


intro/modot3: The director of the St. Louis Regional Commerce and Growth Association says the end of the Missouri Transportation Department's 15-year-plan is good news for the St. Louis area. Lee McGuire has more from Jefferson City.

ltm321

Richard Fleming came to the state capital just after the Highway Commission voted to end the 15-year-plan, which had been the basis for a 6-cents-a-gallon tax hike and was supposed to have improved roads throughout the state.

Fleming says he hopes the legislaure and the governor will now consider another tax hike--this time, to fund construction projects in St. Louis, on I-70 and Highway 40.

Actuality:fleming5.wav
RunTime: 16 sx
OutCue:
Contents: He says projects like these would need some new taxes.

Fleming says highway improvements and a Mississippi River bridge linking Missouri and Illinois would improve the St. Louis economy. In Jefferson City, Lee McGuire, KMOX News.


intro: The director of a major St. Louis business organization is suggesting the state raise taxes to fund road construction in the St. Louis area. Lee McGuire has more from Jefferson City.

ltm321

The demise of the Missouri Transportation Department's 15 year plan has opened the door for new construction proposals.

And Richard Fleming, director of the St. Louis Regional Commerce and Growth Association, has put one on the table.

Fleming says the state should help fund more St. Louis area construction projects. He says improvements along Highway 40 and I-70 are especially important.

Actuality:fleming5.wav
RunTime: 16
OutCue:
Contents: He says projects like these would need new taxes.

Fleming says those highway improvements and a Missippi River bridge linking Missouri and Illinois would bring enough business to the area to justify some kind of tax hike. In Jefferson City, Lee McGuire, KMOX News.