Missouri Legislature Approves $2.8 Billion in Transportation Funding to Widen I-70 to Six Lanes from K.C. to St. Louis
Both chambers of the Missouri Legislature recently voted with a resounding YES to the House/Senate Budget Conference Committee’s recommendations for Missouri transportation funding. The approved state budget, now on its way to Missouri Governor Parson’s desk for signature, includes $2.8 billion ($1.4 billion in existing state surplus; $1.4 billion in bonding) to rebuild and expand Interstate-70 to six lanes from Kansas City to St. Louis, $64 million for low volume and minor roads, and $20 million for an I-44 Environmental Impact Study.
Commenting on passage of the largest transportation budget in the state’s history, Len Toenjes, CAE, president of the Associated General Contractors of Missouri (AGCMO), said, “Leadership in both the Missouri Senate and House did an outstanding job of coalescing differing viewpoints and finalizing a record-breaking transportation budget that promises to be ‘transformational’ for Missouri. We want to thank Sen. Lincoln Hough (R-Springfield; Senate Appropriations Committee Chair), Rep. Cody Smith (R-Carthage; House Budget Chair), Gov. Mike Parson and Lt. Governor Mike Kehoe, along with other state leadership, for demonstrating the foresight to understand the critical significance of transportation to the future economic vitality and well-being of our state.
“I-70 is the backbone of our transportation system across the state and, frankly, many parts of it are broken,” Toenjes continued. “This funding will relieve congestion, improve safety and create thousands of construction jobs across the state. I-70 is a primary artery for the transportation of Missouri goods within the state and provides access for Missouri products to markets and consumers across the country. It connects many of the state’s largest cities and is a critical link for businesses, commuters and travelers. It also serves as the travel corridor to our vibrant tourist destinations.
“With this funding, Missouri once again has an opportunity to be first,” added Toenjes. “People may not remember, but on Aug. 2, 1956, Missouri awarded a contract for work on U.S. 40 – now I-70, the Mark Twain Expressway – in St. Charles County, and on Aug. 13, that project became the first interstate project to be awarded and to start construction after the signing of the 1956 Dwight D. Eisenhower System of Interstate and Defense Highways Act. When completed, a refurbished and widened I-70 will once again put the ‘Show-Me’ state front and center as a national leader in logistics and transportation systems.”
An historic coalition of associations, business and civic organizations, and labor leaders came together in support of Missouri transportation. Special thanks goes to Missourians for Transportation Investment (MFTI) and its executive director, Jeff Glenn, for the leadership they provided. MFTI’s founding board members, along with AGCMO, include the American Council of Consulting Engineers of Missouri, Associated Industries of Missouri, the Missouri Farm Bureau, the Missouri Municipal League, Heavy Constructors Association of Kansas City and the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 101.
Other organizations providing additional support and engagement for the 2023 legislative session include ABNA Engineering, Inc.; Affinis Corp.; Alfred Benesch & Company; American Public Works Association-Missouri Chapter; American Society of Civil Engineers – St. Louis Section; Anderson Engineering, Inc.; Bartlett & West; Burns & McDonnell; CFS Engineers, P.A.; Civil Design, Inc.; Columbia Chamber of Commerce and Delta Companies, Inc. Additional supporters include Economic Development Corporation of Kansas City; EDM Incorporated; EFK Moen LLC; Engineering Design Source Inc.; Farnsworth Group,, Inc.; Gateway ITE; GBA; Geiger Ready-Mix; Geotechnology; GlennView; Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce; Hanson Professional Services Inc.; HDR Engineering Inc.; Heavy Construction Laborers’ Local #663; Hg Consult, Inc.; HNTB; Horner & Shifrin, Inc.; and H. R. Quadri Contractors, LLC.
Additional support came from H W Lochner Inc.; Jefferson City Area Chamber of Commerce; Kimley-Horn; Lamp Rynearson, Inc.; Lochmueller Group; Missouri AFL-CIO; Missouri Asphalt Pavement Association; Missouri Association of Counties; Missouri Concrete Association; Missouri Corn Growers Association; Missouri Limestone Producers Association; Missouri Society of Professional Engineers; Missouri Transportation and Development Council; Missouri Trucking Association; Modjeski and Masters, Inc.; MO/KS American Concrete Pavement Association and Municipal League of Metro St. Louis. Additional supporters include Oates Associates, Inc.; Pace Construction Company; Palmerton & Parrish, Inc.; Prairie Engineers, P.C.; SCI Engineering, Inc.; SITE Improvement Association; St. Charles Regional Chamber; TranSystems; Veenstra & Kimm, Inc.; Volkert, Inc.; Wilson & Company and WSP USA.
The Associated General Contractors of Missouri (AGCMO) represents the united voice of the construction industry throughout the state of Missouri. AGC of Missouri represents nearly 550 commercial, industrial, highway, transportation, and utility infrastructure contractors, industry partners and related firms in 110 counties across the state of Missouri. AGCMO operates offices in St. Louis, Jefferson City and Springfield. Visit: www.agcmo.org