I-70 truck lane test project hits speed bump
Dreams for a revamped Interstate 70 in Saline and Cooper counties will not become reality anytime soon, because the project failed to receive federal Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery grant funds, which were awarded late Wednesday, Feb. 17.
In September 2009, the federal government approved a proposal to rebuild I-70 across Missouri with special truck lanes. As a first step, Missouri Department of Transportation officials applied for $200 million of the federal TIGER funds to build a test portion of new highway, which would cover about 30 miles in Saline and Cooper counties.
This project is one dear to state Sen. Bill Stouffer, R-Napton.
"The truck lane concept is my idea," he said. "When I was first named transportation chair, I asked for an estimate on what it'd cost to rebuild I-70 and I-44 with six and with eight lanes."
According to a representative from Stouffer's office, the project is still on, as soon as funding can be secured for it.
Missouri did receive some TIGER funding, $50,000,000 for a 150-block area in urban Kansas City and $10,000,000 for a bypass around Bella Vista, Ark., part of which will be in Missouri.
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New, improved I-70 may be key to state's economic future: