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Missouri Gov. Mike Parson recently announced that 20 transportation projects have been selected to receive $50 million in funding through his Cost-Share Program.
The program is meant to foster partnerships with local government agencies to deliver road and bridge projects. The Missouri departments of Transportation and Economic Development selected the projects, which were announced Dec. 16.
The projects, which range from urban roadway improvements to local community efforts, support economic development. The Cost-Share Program matches investment up to 50% of the construction contract costs.
“This is an exciting opportunity for Missouri to turn infrastructure investments into workforce investments,” Parson said.
MoDOT’s Cost-Share Committee made the project selections at its meeting, although the choices still await final approval from the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission. The Cost-Share Committee consists of MoDOT’s chief engineer, chief financial officer and assistant chief engineer and two employees selected by the director.
The committee reviewed 48 applications requesting more than $92 million. The 20 they selected will help support $131 million in projects. The committee assessed projects based on economic impact, applicant’s share of total project costs, transportation needs and public benefit.
“The number of applications shows that these partnerships are not only of great interest but of great benefit to Missourians,” Parson said. “It also highlights that many unfunded transportation needs remain in our state.”
Selected projects include a lane addition to Interstate 70 in O’Fallon, which is 35 miles west of St. Louis, and a connector route in Columbia, which is home to the University of Missouri. Two projects would involve intersection and capacity improvements to U.S. Route 67, which snakes through the state south of St. Louis. One project, with a price tag of $8.2 million in recommended funding, would create an interchange on U.S. Route 65 near an industrial park in Sedalia, which is about 90 miles east of Kansas City.
The selected projects will be brought before the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission for approval at its meeting Jan. 9. The commission is a six-member board that governs MoDOT. Members are appointed for a six-year term by the governor and are confirmed by the state Senate. No more than three members may be of the same political party.
The Missouri General Assembly approved Parson’s Cost-Share Program during the 2019 legislative session. Parson was elected in November 2016.
Missouri is not the only state to advance transportation projects through a cost share program. In November, Kansas state leaders announced 22 projects were selected as part of the Kansas Department of Transportation’s Cost Share Program.
Like Missouri’s initiative, Kansas’ Cost Share Program was created during the most recent legislative session and designed to rely on funding from various levels of government.
Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly, who was elected in November 2018, has authorized $216 million in sales tax revenue to remain in the state highway fund in fiscal 2020. This funding helped make the Cost Share Program possible.
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