Columbia legislators to host forum on I-70 toll

Monday, January 30, 2012 | 7:21 p.m. CST

COLUMBIA — State Reps. Chris Kelly, D-Columbia, and Stephen Webber, D-Columbia, will host a public forum Monday concerning a proposal by the Missouri Department of Transportation to make Interstate 70 a toll road.

Panelists will discuss the proposed toll that would fund the transportation department's plan to rebuild I-70 across most of the state.

Scheduled panelists include Missouri Department of Transportation Director Kevin Keith and Rep. Thomas Long, R-Battlefield, vice chairman of the House Appropriations Committee for Transportation and Economic Development.

Exact toll amounts are still being debated, but Keith told the Joint Committee on Transportation Oversight that the the amount would be around 10 to 15 cents per mile for cars and twice that for trucks. A car traveling across Missouri could expect to pay $30 overall.

Keith also told the committee that the rebuilding process would span six to eight years, creating 10,000 jobs per year.

The 200-mile stretch of interstate, built to last 25 years, is nearly 60 years old. MoDOT spends $75 million to $90 million a year maintaining the highway.

Kelly hopes the discussion will bring lawmakers closer to learning whether tolls are viable option to fund the interstate overhaul.

“There’s no doubt the interstate needs rebuilding,” Kelly said. “The question is how to do it.”

The forum will be held at 7 p.m. Monday in Conference Room 1 at the Activities and Recreation Center in Columbia, 1701 W. Ash St.

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GARY MORRISON January 30, 2012 | 8:24 p.m.

I say do what ever it takes and do it ASAP.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams January 30, 2012 | 8:37 p.m.

50 highway is gonna get a workout.

(Report Comment)
Matt Rogge January 31, 2012 | 10:06 a.m.

"I say do what ever it takes and do it ASAP"
You treat this as if 70 as if it is in terrible shape, when in reality there is no reason to rebuild. They just repaved a huge section in wentzville and the highway in other places is in good shape. Yes there is traffic at rush hour but that happens on every highway. It will be detrimental to shipping in Missouri. Some may avoid Missouri altogether. All this will do is raise prices of products around the price (if not higher) of products in Illinois.

(Report Comment)

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