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MODOT plans to cut back on highway spending

By Kevin Lavery, KWMU

St. Louis – The Missouri Department of Transportation Tuesday approved a new five-year transportation construction plan.

The state will spend most of the $7.1 billion program on more than 900 road and bridge projects.

The state will spend $1.6 billion in 2007, but only $700 million by 2011.

MODOT Chief Engineer Kevin Keith said this state transportation improvement plan, or STIP, will be nowhere as large as last year's.

"In fact, we've added no new major projects to this STIP," Keith said. "How come? We start losing the revenue made available that Amendment Three allowed us to put in place with the bonding package. That's the environment in which we put this together, and so we've been somewhat conservative."

MODOT says its revenues are decreasing while the cost of steel and concrete is rising.