Recently, Federal Highway Administration's Deputy Federal Highway Administrator Gregory Nadeau met with workers and received a progress report on the $41.4 million Pleasant Valley Improvement project, which began earlier this month.
Located in central Clay County, workers are beginning a two-year project to improve I-35 from one mile north of Pleasant Valley Road to I-435, improve the I-35 and Pleasant Valley Road interchange, and improve nearby cross streets Church Road, Sobbie Road, Pleasant Valley Road, South Liberty Parkway, and US-69. The existing interchange is too small to accommodate the traffic volume of one of the state's fastest-growing areas, causing significant tie-ups for Pleasant Valley, Liberty, Kansas City, and nearby Claycomo.
The project relies on more than $32 million in combined federal and state highway funds, with an additional $4.2 million coming from the City of Liberty, $5 million from the Mid-America Regional Council (MARC) and $100,000 from the City of Pleasant Valley.
Earlier this year, the FHWA announced a plan to address the infrastructure deficit with a $478 billion, six-year surface transportation reauthorization proposal, the GROW AMERICA Act. The proposal would make critical investments in roads, bridges and other infrastructure needed to promote long-term economic growth, enhance safety and efficiency and support jobs well into the 21st century.
"As the workers told me, this project will eliminate a major Kansas City-area chokepoint, and improve traffic flow and safety for thousands of drivers each day," said Deputy Federal Highway Administrator Gregory Nadeau. "These are the kind of projects we need to see more of nationwide. With Congress' help, we will."
Click here for more information on this visit.
The Costly Price of Driving Missouri’s Roads and Bridges
It’s no secret that some of Missouri’s roads and bridges have been deemed insufficient, not to mention heavily congested. For months on end, leaders at MoDOT have been hammering home that very point.
But what is surprising is that Missourians are paying an additional $4.5 million annually in additional costs to drive on those roads and bridges.
This is according to a recent report filed by TRIP, A non-profit transportation research group based out of Washington, D.C.
The agency says each Missouri driver spends about $1,500 per year on added vehicle operating costs, traffic crashes and congestion related delays. The report was based on roads in Jefferson City, Springfield, St. Louis and Kansas City.
TRIP’s Director of Policy and Research Rocky Morietti delivered the findings Thursday, April 30 at the Mid-America Regional Council’s downtown offices in Kansas City, using the Broadway Bridge as a backdrop.
Morietti says, “In the Kansas City area, 23 percent of the regions roads have pavements that are in rough condition and 32 percent are in mediocre condition,” He went on to say, “the average driver spends an additional 27 hours annually stuck in traffic. “That’s additional time lost due to traffic congestion.”
Morietti summed up the announcement by saying that what’s needed is a long-term adequately funded federal transportation program to help get Missouri’s roads and bridges back on track.
Click here to listen to Missouri Highways and Transportation Commissioner Steve Miller talk about funding at the TRIP press conference.