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A better funding picture — sparked by a new state fuel tax in effect and passage of a federal infrastructure bill that will bring about $9 billion to the state — has the Missouri Department of Transportation reassessing its projects.

A meeting for this region is set for 3:15 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 18, at the West Plains Civic Center, 110 St. Louis St. The public is invited to discuss an updated draft of high priority needs for the area.

Texas County is not listed on any projects listed in Tier I high priority road and bridge needs. A 10-year unfunded needs remaining after Tier I also doesn’t include any Texas County projects. (modot.org/unfunded needs)

Since the passage of an additional motor fuel tax, MoDOT staff have worked with metropolitan planning organizations and regional planning commissions — such as this area’s South Central Council of Governments — to develop a list of high priority unfunded road and bridge needs. The draft project-specific lists include $4.5 billion of road and bridge projects in three tiers. Tier one includes $543 million and includes projects that could be accomplished in the time of the current five-year Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) as federal and state funding levels increase. These projects have good estimates. Tier two is worth $2.1 billion and includes projects beyond the current STIP timeframe with broader estimates. Tier three includes $2.2 billion of projects that are also beyond the current STIP timeframe with broader estimates. In addition, MoDOT staff worked with the planning partners to identify $1 billion in multimodal needs.

“Even with additional revenue, transportation needs greatly outweigh funding available, and the challenge is determining the optimal projects to fund that provide the greatest return on investment to taxpayers,” said MoDOT Director Patrick McKenna. “Across every region of the state, feedback from Missourians has consistently prioritized maintaining the existing system as the highest priority. Other priorities include projects that improve safety, spur economic growth and provide more transportation choices. We value Missourians input in this new draft as we work to prioritize the increasing federal and state transportation revenue.”

The draft document and comment form will be available online through Dec. 22. For more information, call MoDOT at 888-ASK-MODOT (275-6636) or visit www.modot.org.

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