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Group says transportation funding crisis is looming in MO

By Marshall Griffin, KWMU

Jefferson City, MO – A Washington-based research group says Missouri's transportation funding is in serious trouble.

The Road Information Project, or TRIP, has published a report claiming that Missouri is facing a shortfall of $18 billion over the next 20 years in transportation money. MODOT Director Pete Rahn says they've kept administrative costs down and channeled more money toward road and bridge maintenance.

"I mean we're already the 3rd best in the nation as far as our administrative costs," Rahn said Thursday. "Administrative costs are not going to be an area that we're going to be able to squeeze to produce more money."

Rahn says Missouri must find additional resources by 2010. That's the year a constitutional amendment providing extra highway funding expires.

"The indications are we're not going to be able to count on the federal government to bail us out," Rahn added. So it means that the political leaders of Missouri and the voters will have to decide what kind of a transportation system they want to have available today."

A spokesman for MODOT says the study was commissioned independently by The Road Information Project.

Among other findings: By the year 2030, travel delays in St. Louis will nearly double from 22-42% unless the city's roadway capacity is expanded.