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Thu Jan 19, 2012, 06:32 PM

Missouri lawmakers consider tolls for I-70 [View all]

JEFFERSON CITY | -- Missouri Department of Transportation Director Kevin Keith paints a grim picture of the future of Interstate 70, the state’s busiest highway.

In less than 20 years, “I-70 is going to be a gravel parking lot,” Keith told a joint legislative transportation committee this week. “The option of doing nothing is not there. We can’t keep going the way we are.”

Even now, traffic on I-70 runs fine “as long as we don’t have an accident or work on it,” Keith said. “But if we do either of those, traffic gets backed up for 10 miles.”

MoDOT’s proposed solution, however, is proving divisive. The agency wants legislators to give it permission to enter into a public-private partnership that would turn I-70 into a toll road.

The rest: http://www.kansascity.com/2012/01/18/3377955/missouri-lawmakers-consider-tolls.html

The proposed tolls would amount to $20-$30 for a single car going from STL to KC...even more for an 18-wheeler. I agree with the trucking association president quoted later in the article, raising the gas tax to fund improvements on 70 would make much more sense. Missouri's gas tax is one of the lower ones in the nation, and is often used to help balance the general budget rather than funding road maintenance/improvements.

Here in TX, basically every new road built is a toll road, and it sucks. Traffic is ridiculous because no one wants to pay the tolls, so the free highways are jammed. Austin's population is much smaller than that of St. Louis, but its rush hours are MUCH worse. I really hope my beloved home state doesn't start down this path.

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