Boost in MoDOT funding hits a roadblock on final day of legislative session

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LEE’S SUMMIT, Mo. -- Legislation that would have boosted funding for the Missouri Department of Transportation did not get passed on the final day of the Missouri legislative session, meaning MoDOT’s funding future could encounter some bumpy roads.

Several times in 2015, metro bridges have been closed for emergency repairs. On Friday, the Manchester Bridge was the scene of yet another problem. A hole in the concrete opened up in the westbound lanes, slowing traffic.

"That's why we're doing the project is because of the condition of the two bridges there at Manchester," said Dan Niec, a District Engineer for MoDOT.

But funding for MoDOT is tight, especially after news that there's a red light on additional funding for the state agency.

"It doesn't appear that there's going to be any additional investment this session," said Niec.

That means the budget will remain at its current amount.

"At 325-million dollars we will not have enough revenues to maintain our entire existing system, so we will focus our resources on our primary system which is only about eight-thousand of our 34-thousand miles across the state," said Niec.

Niec warns that means drivers on Missouri roads will see more slow-downs like these as emergency repairs are made.

"You'll continue to see the deterioration of not only the roads but the bridges, and unfortunately we will have to close bridges as they become unsafe for use," said Niec.

Governor Jay Nixon was pushing for the additional funding for MoDOT. That plan would have added one-and-a-half cents tax per gallon on regular fuel. Niec says there are nine bridges currently closed for repair across Missouri. Three are in the Kansas City metro.