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MoDOT News Release 

For more information, contact Sally Oxenhandler, (573) 751-7456, Kristi Jamison, (573) 526-2482 or Laura Holloway, (573) 751-5985.

March 24, 2009 12:00 AM
83 Percent of Missouriís Most Traveled Roads in Good Condition
Up From Only 47 Percent in 2004

JEFFERSON CITY - The percentage of the state's busiest highways that are in good condition has grown more than 36 percent in the past five years.  According to new figures released by the Missouri Department of Transportation, more than 83 percent of Missouri's major roads are in good condition compared to 2004 when only 47 percent were in good condition.

"We have been hard at work making the state's roads better and safer, and it's showing," MoDOT Director Pete Rahn said.  "As a result, almost 86 percent of all travel in Missouri today is on a major highway that is in good condition.  Missourians made a conscious decision to invest in their road system when they passed Amendment 3 in 2004.  Now they're reaping the benefits."

Major roads include the interstates and heavily traveled U.S. routes such as 63, 50, 71 and 60.  More than 100 million miles a day are driven on the 5,573 miles of major roads in Missouri.  They carry 80 percent of all traffic, and 95 percent of Missourians live within 10 miles of one of these roads.

The jump can largely be attributed to MoDOT's Smooth Roads Initiative and Better Roads, Brighter Future program.  The Amendment 3-funded Smooth Roads Initiative improved 2,200 miles of the state's busiest highways in 2005 and 2006.  Under the Better Roads program, the remainder of the state's major highways are getting smoother surfaces, wider stripes, brighter signs and paved shoulders.   

Additional transportation improvements are under way with funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.  In addition, MoDOT's Safe and Sound Bridge Improvement Program is in full swing.  That effort will repair or replace 802 of Missouri's worst bridges by Oct. 31, 2014.

Missouri's road improvements have been recognized nationally.  Truck drivers voted Missouri roads as the fifth best in the nation in a survey published in January by Overdrive magazine, a publication serving the commercial motor carrier industry.  The Reason Foundation listed Missouri as among the nation's leaders in maintaining its transportation system and getting good value, and the Pew Center on the States gave Missouri a B+ for its infrastructure performance. That score was better than all but four other states and the 50-state average grade of a B-.

"We've made a lot of progress in bringing our roads up to good condition, but now the challenge is keeping them there," Rahn said.  "The economic recovery funding will help, but it's not the answer.  In fact, the money we received from the recovery act for transportation infrastructure amounts to only about a third of our annual highway construction budget."

Rahn said Missourians must ultimately determine what they want their future transportation system to look like and how to fund it.

Editor's note:  Here's a breakdown of road condition improvements by region:

Northwest - Conditions of major roads in this area, which include I-29, I-229 and I-35 and Routes 71, 36, 59 and 136, have increased from 54.1 percent in good condition in 2004 to 80.8 percent in good condition in 2008.

North Central - Conditions of major roads in this area, which include Routes 36, 24, 65 and 63, have increased from 46.8 percent in good condition in 2004 to 72.8 percent in good condition in 2008.

Northeast - Conditions of major roads in this area, which include Routes 36, 24, 54, and 61, have increased from 56.9 percent in good condition in 2004 to 79.9 percent in good condition in 2008.

Kansas City Area - Conditions of major roads in this area, which include Interstates 70, 435, 29 and 35 and Routes 50, 7 and 71, have increased from 53.3 percent in good condition in 2004 to 82.2 percent in good condition in 2008.

Central - Conditions of major roads in this area, which include Interstate 70 and Routes 63, 54, 50 and 65, have increased from 40.2 percent in good condition in 2004 to 79.9 percent in good condition in 2008.

St. Louis Area - Conditions of major roads in this area, which include Interstates 70, 64/40, 44, 270, 55, 170 and Routes 30, 21 and Page Avenue, have increased from 53.6 percent in good condition in 2004 to 84.6 percent in good condition in 2008.

Southwest - Conditions of major roads in this area, which include Interstate 44 and Routes 71, 60, 54 and 37, have increased from 52 percent in good condition in 2004 to 97 percent in good condition in 2008.

Springfield Area - Conditions of major roads in this area, which include Interstate 44 and Routes 60, 65 and 13, have increased from 58.1 percent in good condition in 2004 to 88.5 percent in good condition in 2008.

South Central  - Conditions of major roads in this area, which include Interstate 44 and Routes 60, 63, 72 and 8, have increased from 58.9 percent in good condition in 2004 to 89.2 percent in good condition in 2008.

Southeast - Conditions of major roads in this area, which include Interstate 55 and Routes 60, 67, 72, 53 and 412, have increased from 26.5 percent in good condition in 2004 to 81.3 percent in good condition in 2008.
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