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MoDOT Lack of Funding Could Hurt Missouri Roads

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Retiring Missouri Department of Transportation Director Dave Nichols says that a lack of funding from the state legislature will hurt both urban and rural roads throughout the state in the next fiscal year.

MODOT’s current plan, which was approved by the state Highways and Transportation Commission in February, is to focus capital improvements on 8,000 miles of “primary” roads, like I-70, I-435 and I-64. He says the plan would only give minimal maintenance to the remaining 26,000 miles of so-called “secondary” roads.

Nichols says the second category will include large amounts of small rural roads, but also some major urban traffic ways.

“It identifies roads that are two lane roads that would be low-volume in rural areas," Nichols said. "But it also means roads that carry a lot of traffic inside the urban areas that are really state roads, but function more as local arterial roads inside the city.”

Nichols says lawmakers are now considering several options, including creating toll roads on I-70 and raising gas taxes, to raise more money for MoDOT’s budget. Nichols will retire on May 1st. 

Cody Newill was born and raised in Independence, Missouri, and attended the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Cody won a Regional Edward R. Murrow award for his work curating kcur.org in 2017. But if you ask him, his true accomplishments lie in Twitter memes and using the term "Devil's lettuce" in a story.
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