Missouri plans historic $2.8B I-70 expansion

Dive Brief:

  • The Missouri DOT recently unveiled a plan to expand and improve Interstate 70, which runs east-west across the state and has been a source of consternation for drivers for decades. Missouri allocated $2.8 billion in its fiscal year 2024 budget to reconstruct 200 miles of the highway.
  • Improve I-70 represents Missouri’s largest amount of funding to rebuild the interstate since its original construction in the 1960s, according to Kansas City Public Radio. Missouri DOT will plan, design, construct and repair three lanes in each direction across the state between Wentzville and Blue Springs, in the Kansas City area.
  • In August, Missouri DOT plans to share which section of the interstate construction it will start on and to begin the procurement process, said spokesperson Linda Horn in an email. The agency is currently forming its internal team for the project. 

Dive Insight:

Once the first piece of the project is determined, the agency will start the procurement process with contractor teams, with selection likely sometime in 2024, Horn said.

While traffic jams and aging pavement have long plagued the highway, the cost to overhaul it was prohibitive. This year however, Missouri had a budget surplus, and a unique opportunity to use the money for a dramatic investment in infrastructure.

Half of the money needed to fund Improve I-70 will come from the state budget surplus, while the other half will be sourced from state road bond proceeds. The project will be completed in segments.

While Missouri DOT has not yet scheduled the projects, it is considering starting with the Columbia area, as well as near Wentzville or near Blue Springs, according to Horn. 

“The team is working with MoDOT partners in the construction industry and engineering design to determine the best way to schedule the work,” said Horn. “We want to sequence the projects to deliver the most improvements with limited traffic impacts and do it within industry’s capacity to get the best value.” 

Work is projected to finish in fall 2030.

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