New Plan Targets Heavily Traveled Highways in Mo.

Mon March 26, 2007 - Midwest Edition
David A. Lieb - Associated Press

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) Missouri’s most heavily traveled highways are in line for a makeover.

The state Highways and Transportation Commission approved a new initiative Jan. 10, that will speed up improvements to 5,573 mi. of the major highways, with the goal of getting 85 percent of those roads in good condition by 2011. Currently, approximately 70 percent of those major roads are in good condition, said Kevin Keith, chief engineer for the Missouri Department of Transportation.

The commission kicked off the “Better Roads, Bright Future” initiative by adding $124 million of projects to the 2007 road construction schedule. Some of those 34 projects had been planned to occur in later years, and some had not previously been included in the department’s five-year plan.

The new program comes after the 2006 completion of the department’s “Smooth Roads Initiative,” which repaved approximately 2,200 mi. of the most heavily traveled roads.