Gov. Jay Nixon at the Hwy 291 bridge along with Dan Niec, KC MODOT District Engineer (center) & Mo. Highway Commission Chairman Steve Miller (right).
Missouri Governor Jay Nixon visited the closed northbound lanes of the Highway 291 bridge.
MoDOTT shut down the northbound lanes this week. Inspectors found a rusty hole in one of the main support beams on the southern approach to the bridge. Nixon visited the bridge to press for an increase in Missouri’s fuel tax.
“We have the 6th longest system and the fifth lowest tax. That is not a plan for the future Nixon said.
Lawmaker are considering a bill that would raise $78 million dollars by raising the gasoline tax by 1.5 cents and the diesel tax by 3.5 cents.
Highway Commissioner Steve Miller says that money could keep Missouri eligible for more than $170 million more in federal highway money.
The $78 million is a relatively small amount of money for a state highway system. It is so small that it fall below the threshold requiring a public vote on a tax increase.
Missouri’s money for highways has dropped dramatically late. A billion dollar bond program for repairs has ended.
Another factor in the declining road funds is the fact that vehicles are more fuel efficient so the fuel taxes generate less money than it used to produce.