Let's keep it simple

Monday, July 29, 2002

By Duane S. Michie

CARUTHERSVILLE, Mo. -- National studies show Missouri's transportation system is one of the worst in the nation, ranked 48th for highways and 49th for bridges.

Why? Lack of funding for improvements in and expansion of Missouri's highway system.

Frankly, we do not need national studies to tell us our highway system has crumbling roads and bad bridges. We see and drive on them daily.

Our roads need to be fixed and our bridges repaired. On Aug. 6, we will have the opportunity to approve funding necessary to start the process.

The additional funding from the passage of Proposition B would result in approximately 500 miles of new or the equivalent to new construct, including 372 miles of new 4-lane projects across the state.

Proposition B would also allow for 700 bridges to be repaired or replaced, some 14,000 miles of roads to be resurfaced and all 1,179 miles of interstate to be put in good condition.

No one wants higher taxes, but we all know that we need better roads and an improved transportation system.

Why? A good highway and transportation system is essential in its contribution to safety, convenience and economic well-being for Missourians.

Proposition B will assist in bringing this transportation system up to an acceptable condition.

I am grateful to the General Assembly for providing this window of opportunity for the citizens of Missouri to vote on this proposal.

When we approve Proposition B, the 4-cent-a-gallon increase in motor-fuel tax and the 1/2-cent increase in general sales tax will expire June 30, 2013.

I believe the Missouri Department of Transportation and the Highways and Transportation Commission have put in place a fair and equitable transportation plan.

I would encourage the voters of Missouri to vote yes for Proposition B.

Duane S. Michie of Caruthers-ville, Mo., is a member of the Missouri State Highways and Transportation Commission.

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