Sunday, July 29th, 2007

Kansas, Missouri Facing Road Funding Crunch

The Kansas City Star had an interesting article about road construction funding in Kansas and Missouri. Apparently both states have had major decade-long construction programs running, and now the funding is running dry. Missouri at least is considering a gas tax increase to keep things going.

I found a couple of things interesting. The first was comparing the current spending levels of both states back to Indiana’s Major Moves program. Both Kansas and Missouri are larger than Indiana geographically, but smaller in population. Kansas actually has less than half as many people as Indiana. But both states’ current construction programs are as large or larger than Major Moves. The Kansas program was 10 years, $13 billion, or $1.3 billion per year. I don’t know the length of the Missouri program, but they are spending about $1.1 billion per year. Major Moves is a 10 year, $11.9 billion program, or about $1.2 billion per year. So it is interesting that Indiana has only been able to accomplish with its toll road lease not anything different than two other smaller states managed to figure out how to do without leasing out a toll road. Presumably at the end of Major Moves, as with the end of these other states’ programs, highway funding will fall off a cliff.

The other thing of note was a brief mention of a desire to put dedicated truck lanes on I-70. This is the “Corridors of the Future” application that INDOT is leading the sponsorship of with the FWHA.

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Cities: Indianapolis, Kansas City, St. Louis

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