Proposed tax to fund billions in Missouri transportation projects

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ST. LOUIS (KPLR) - A nearly $5 billion dollar wish list for Missouri road and transportation needs is now available to voters who must decide next month whether to raise the state’s sales tax by three quarters of a cent for ten years.
The proposal, named Amendment Seven, will appear on the August 5th primary ballot. It will amend the state’s constitution.

Missouri’s Department of Transportation worked with local governments to identify critical repair and expansion needs in our transportation system.
If passed the new tax would produce $1.48 billion dollars for projects in the St. Louis region including St. Louis City and County as well as St. Charles, Franklin and Jefferson counties.

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The proposed projects range from bike paths to a 300 million dollar renovation of I-270 from Lindbergh east to Rte. 367.  Two hundred million dollars would be set aside to improve I-70 from Hanley Road west to Lambert Airport including the accident prone interchange at I-170.

The list calls for improvements at Lambert Airport to help move freight, MetroLink station improvements and two new bridges over the Meramec River on I-44.  Sidewalks, bike paths and greenway trails around the area are planned.

“The good thing about this list is it’s not just highways and bridges.  It’s all different modes of transportation,” explained Greg Horn, MODOT’s St. Louis District Engineer.  “Our’s getting old; it’s aging and this keeps us to be able to rebuild it.”

Horn warns the state funding for road repairs is running out.  By 2017, he said, the state will not be able to maintain the roads and bridges it has unless new funding sources are found.

He described Missouri’s highway system as the 7th largest in the nation with more than 34-thousand miles.   “That’s more highway miles than Kansas and Illinois combined; so we have a huge system. “

Governor Nixon opposes the measure.  He questions the long term fairness of adding to the sales tax.  He also has said, “It leaves out some significant users of our road system.”

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