KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A measure on the Missouri ballot in August could fund $5 billion for transportation projects over the next 10 years.
The Missouri Department of Transportation hopes to educate voters about the three-quarter cent sales tax, including the projects on tap if it passes.
There are hundreds of statewide projects on MODOT’s list, including 39 improvement projects in the metro. MODOT says the projects will improve safety, create jobs and boost the state’s economy.
The Missouri Department of Transportation would like to expand I-70 to six lanes from Kansas City to St. Louis. MODOT says the $1.5 billion expansion would make the highway safer.
“Pretty much inside lane, we would add one additional lane, put a concrete median barrier and really improve the safety and comfort as you hopefully can get a little space between you and all the semis,” said Brian Kidwell with MODOT.
MODOT would also like to replace the Broadway Bridge over the Missouri River in Kansas City and make interchange improvements on 169 at the Kansas City Downtown Airport.
MODOT says the transportation projects would cost $5.4 billion, money it hopes to get from a three-quarter of a cent sales tax.
“If it’s something that’s going to benefit us, we need to pay for it,” said Doreen Kon-Roach of Independence.
“I think cities, counties, and the state seem to start relying on the sales tax more and more. A lot of poorer people are just not going to be able to afford to buy their purchases. And will have a very difficult time,” Ron Adams, also of Independence, said.
MODOT says the proposed sales tax increase will not be applied to basic necessities.
“It doesn’t apply to prescription medicine, food or gasoline, so it’s really on the other stuff you buy,” said Kidwell.
To help people understand the proposed projects and comment on what roads and bridges should be improved you’re urged to attend a public hearing.
MODOT hopes to educate the public before the August 5, 2014 election.
For a list of MODOT improvements and public meetings CLICK HERE.