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MO-DOT director addressed General Assembly

Missouri Department of Transportation Director Pete Rahn
Missouri Department of Transportation Director Pete Rahn

By Marshall Griffin, KWMU

Jefferson City, MO – MO-DOT Director Pete Rahn delivered his State of Transportation Address on before the Missouri General Assembly on Wednesday.

Rahn says overall, the state of transportation in Missouri is improving dramatically, citing a 2004 constitutional amendment that channeled more money to the state's highways. But that higher spending requirement expires in 3 years:

"Our current construction program of 1.3 billion dollars, drops off a cliff in 2010 and plummets to 569 million dollars," says Rahn.

Rahn says, he's pleased to see lawmakers this year discuss the need for more funding. He's concerned over the fact that the constitutionally required extra funding will expire in three years.

Rahn also petitioned the legislature for tougher enforcement of the Missouri seat belt law.

"The effect of the current law is to declare that a cracked taillight or a dirty license plate is a higher priority for law enforcement than life-saving safety belts."

Rahn says 90 lives per year could be saved if a primary enforcement law were on the books. Other items in his address included support for adding truck-only lanes to I-44 and I-70.