JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — A plan to turn Interstate 70 into a toll road to help pay for construction costs appears to be stalled for the year in the Missouri Legislature.
According to a report in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, State Sen. Mike Kehoe says that he would be shocked if the legislature passes the proposal to create a public-private partnership to rebuild 200 miles of the interstate between suburban St. Louis and suburban Kansas City.
Kehoe, a Republican from Jefferson City, introduced the toll legislation earlier this year. He told the Post-Dispatch that it was unlikely to emerge from committee this year.
According to the Missouri Department of Transportation, coverting I-70 to a toll road would cost between $2 billion to $4 billion. The legislation would have a private consortium finance, rebuild and operate the highway – recouping their investment from the tolls.
The proposal faced opposition from the trucking industry and gas station and convenience store owners, among others.
MODOT officials say that without a new funding source, it will be unable to rebuild the I-70 – a project many say is needed to add lanes and help loosen traffic constriction between Kansas City and St. Louis.