By Anna Thomas, Ozarks News Journal
Springfield, MO–About 6,500 roadways are managed by the southwest division of the Missouri Department of Transportation.
But with the 540 million dollars absent from funding after amendment 7 was defeated, will the department stop the current construction projects?
Becky Baltz is the district engineer for the southwest division of MoDoT.
“No, we’re not because when we established those projects, we already had the funding available for those,” Baltz said.
Baltz says part of the proposed bill was to develop a list of projects to complete if it was passed. But now those projects, like building six lanes on Highway 65, won’t happen.
Any of the current construction, Baltz says, has most likely been scheduled for years. A time lapse that some drivers are saying could be improved.
Don Mifa is a local Springfield driver.
“Honestly the potholes have been messing up my car, I’ve been to the shop twice in the last week and a half, and all the construction work it backs up traffic so we’re late for work,” Mifa said.
MoDot says they’re trying to decrease traffic time in different ways, like adding an overpass over the railroad on Springfield’s Chestnut Expressway. And as for those potholes…the rebuilding of pavement on Kansas Expressway is in the works.
But Baltz says one of the highest priority projects is the safety of their workers. According to MoDoT, there are about 750 deaths throughout Missouri due to inattentive drivers in work zones.
“We really think that’s 750 too many. So we’re to continue our focus on safety even with a decline in funding and revenue available to us,” Baltz said.
MoDoT has a tracking site available where drivers can view construction areas, improvements, and the quality of roads in their area.