Drivers across the Show-Me State have been seeing a lot of road construction in recent years.
"They have been great safety improvements,” said Becky Baltz, MoDOT District Engineer.
MoDOT says the flow of money available for projects has slowed down; meaning we will soon be seeing fewer big projects. The department says annual revenue in 2014 is $700-million, down from $1.3 billion a year in 2009. The amount could fall to $325-million a year by 2017.
“The next couple of years we are still going to have some projects going on. But, when you look beyond that, the projects will be a lot less of them,” Baltz stated.
Drivers like Michael Strong see the need for more improvements.
“It seems like more and more people have cars and more cars on the road and as traffic backs up in some of the larger communities,” said Strong. “We probably need more lanes.”
MoDOT leaders say large projects will require more money than what is currently available.
One idea that is gaining traction in the state capital is a once-cent sales tax that could raise $700 million a year, and close to $8 billion over ten years.
“Of course…if it goes to fixing roads it is always positive,” stated Aaron Eft. He is one of many drivers who would support such a tax. But, not everyone is on board.
“I am certainly for road improvements, but it just seems like there is a penny for this and a penny for that,’ stated Michael Strong.
The sales tax proposal was passed by a Senate committee this week Now it goes to the full Senate, which will be deciding whether or not to send it to the voters this coming November.
“I am OK with the way things are. It would be nice if things could be better. But we need to make sure we can afford it,” explained Strong.