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Missouri already has plans for its share of the infrastructure bill

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Julie Denesha
"We certainly know that our condition of the infrastructure isn't where we'd like it to be," according to the director of Missouri's Department of Transportation.

Roughly $9 billion in federal funding has been allocated for Missouri's infrastructure needs. The director of the state's Department of Transportation explains where that money is going.

The Missouri Department of Transportation along with regional planning partners have identified needed improvements within Missouri's infrastructure.

The state can tap into approximately $9 billion dollars in federal funding allocated from a bipartisan infrastructure bill signed by President Biden.

"It is significant," said Patrick McKenna, director of the Missouri Department of Transportation. "Having long term funding stability is one of the most important things we need as a DOT."

According to McKenna, about $5 billion dollars has already been allocated for projects.

"We've been pre-planning for this, so we have a lot of the projects in the pipeline and this money will get deployed very quickly," McKenna said.

The director did point out that plans for a total overhaul of I-70 are not part of the currently funded projects. That massive undertaking would require billions of funds equivalent to multiple smaller and necessary projects.

"We do feel there needs to be a benefit spread throughout the state so that we maintain a system that is functional for the entire state," McKenna said.

McKenna listed some areas being eyed for improvements: Jackson County, I-70 from downtown to I-435; Lafayette County, I-70 and Missouri 131; and Clay County, I-29 and the I-35 corridor.

McKenna said there's been a significant investment in transit and he expects progress to be made on Kansas City's streetcar as well.

Members of the public can share their concerns on needed improvements by visiting the Missouri Department of Transportation website or attending one of the scheduled public meetings

The Missouri Department of Transportation is holding a High Priority Unfunded Needs public meeting, 4-6p.m. Tuesday, December. 7 at the Mid-America Regional Council, 600 Broadway Blvd., Ste. 200, Kansas City, Missouri 64105

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