Highway tolls

Monday, February 9, 2004

The Sedalia Democrat

The Missouri Department of Transportation needs more money, and toll roads would be a step in the right direction.

That's what Director Henry Hungerbeeler told the General Assembly. ... Bills filed in the General Assembly authorize tolls on a half-dozen roads and bridges, including Interstate 70 and Interstate 44. Bridges connecting Missouri to Illinois and Kentucky would also be subject to tolls.

Hungerbeeler, who will step down from his job in June, made a decent case for improvements in his agency. ...

He was much less persuasive in arguing that the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission should be retained.

Much of the fix that MoDOT finds itself in is the result of an antiquated administrative system created 80 years ago to make sure that rural communities got their fair share during the transition from dirt roads to "hard roads." ...

Scrapping the commission and authorizing toll roads to provide the extra money to get new construction going would be major steps toward restoring public confidence in MoDOT.

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