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Missouri Department of Transportation

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Stark Reality of the Road Ahead

Stark Reality Web Graphic

Transportation is more than just roads and bridges. It affects each and every one of us every day.

It's how we get to the doctor, visit family and friends, and buy the goods and services we need. It is critical to our quality of life.

But too often we take our transportation system for granted.

Downward trend in funding has serious consequences for Missouri's transportation system.

Moving Forward – What You Can Expect
Right now, many of our major highways are in pretty good condition. Plus, you’ll continue to see some road construction as we fulfill the commitments we’ve made. So it might be hard to imagine we have a transportation funding problem . . . but we do.

MoDOT's funding from 2009 to 2017

The Stark Reality
MoDOT’s annual construction budget was about $1.3 billion five years ago. This year (2014) it’s about $700 million, and by 2017 it will drop to $325 million. It takes $485 million just to keep Missouri’s existing transportation system in the condition it’s in today. Without a new funding source, the state will be unable to match federal dollars by 2020. Those taxpayer dollars will go to other states for road and bridge projects.

That means:
• Deteriorating road and bridge conditions

• Bridge closures

• Few, if any, transportation projects that:
     ›› Improve safety
     ›› Create jobs
     ›› Ease congestion
     ›› Foster economic development

Quote image from Jim Anderson, Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce

Missouri roadway photo

The Reasons
Fuel taxes provide the bulk of revenue for Missouri transportation. But here’s why that funding source is no longer working for us:

  • Fuel tax revenues have become a diminishing revenue stream as cars become more fuel efficient and people drive less.
  • The fuel tax has not increased since 1992, while the cost of doing business continues to rise.
  • Inflation has decreased our purchasing power by more than 50 percent. What was 17 cents (state fuel tax per gallon) of purchasing power in 1992, is now about eight cents and decreasing each year.
  • The cost of asphalt, concrete and steel – the staples of the industry – are as much as 200 percent more than they were in 1992.
  • Federal funding is also an issue. The Federal Highway Trust Fund, the federal source for funding transportation in Missouri, is teetering on the brink of insolvency, with Congress yet to determine a long-term course of action to ensure it is adequately funded.


What’s At Stake – Safety, Jobs, Economic Development
Without a funding solution, the condition of our roads and bridges will deteriorate, safety on Missouri highways will decline, jobs and businesses will go to other states, and Missouri will lose its status as a national and global competitor.

What’s Next?
Our focus has not changed. Our top priorities remain:

  • Keep our customers, partners and MoDOT employees safe.
  • Take care of the transportation system we have for as long as we can with the resources we have.
  • Provide outstanding customer service.

Missouri Transportation:
A Snapshot


  • Missouri has the seventh largest
    transportation system in the nation.
    In fact, we have more state highway miles than Kansas and Illinois combined.
  • Fatalities on Missouri highways are the lowest they’ve been since the 1940s.
  • Each year, Missouri’s Statewide
    Transportation Improvement Program creates 6,528 jobs and provides a $3.62 economic return for every dollar invested.
  • People travel almost 48 million miles on
    Missouri roads every year and take more
    than 70 million transit trips.
  • Missouri’s multimodal freight system
    supports the movement of trucks, planes,
    barges, and trains as they transport more
    than one billion tons of freight valued at
    about $1.3 trillion per year.

What Can You Do?
It’s not up to us to decide where funding for transportation comes from. While we don’t know what will come next, we hope the discussion will continue because our transportation funding problem won’t go away. Talk to your elected officials, family and friends about this issue. Together we can determine a viable solution to move Missouri forward.

For more information call 1-888-ASK-MODOT (888-275-6636).


Download the Stark Reality Flyer (pdf) - 2 pages | 568 Kb




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Missouri Department of Transportation
Central Office
105 W. Capitol Avenue
Jefferson City, MO 65102
1-888-ASK-MODOT (275-6636)
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