Study floats idea of I-70 truck-only lanes

Wednesday, September 26, 2007 | 7:40 p.m. CDT; updated 5:21 p.m. CDT, Thursday, July 17, 2008

COLUMBIA — The spur of Interstate 70 cutting across Missouri could one day have lanes for trucks only.

The portion of I-70 from eastern Kansas City to the Ohio-West Virginia border has been selected as one of six “Corridors of the Future” by the U.S. Department of Transportation. The federal program will fund a study of the logistics of adding four truck-only lanes to the interstate.

The goal of the program is to “reduce congestion and improve freight movement,” said Jeff Briggs, spokesman for the Missouri Department of Transportation. The department estimates adding truck lanes in Missouri would cost $3.5 billion, which is not currently in its budget.

The other three states in Missouri’s I-70 corridor are Illinois, Indiana and Ohio. They will receive $5 million to complete the logistics study. Missouri will receive $2 million to expand its existing I-70 Environmental Impact Study to include a study of truck-only lanes. The remaining $3 million will be shared by the four states.

The $2 million will pay for the consultants who will conduct the study, and Briggs said the Transportation Department is in the midst of the hiring process for the position. It hopes to have the study completed by the end of 2008.

The study will also examine financing options for the project, such as placing tolls on the lanes as suggested by the federal program.

Tom Crawford, president and CEO of Missouri Motor Carriers Association, said the group supports exploring the possibilities of an I-70 freight corridor, but it is opposed to making it a toll road.

Congestion on I-70 isn’t going to go away, he said.

“It’s only going to get more crowded,” Crawford said.

Adding the truck-lane study won’t completely supersede past discussions on how to handle I-70 in Columbia, said Tim Teddy, director of planning and development.

“I don’t think the whole thing is being reinvented,” Teddy said.

And while the Transportation Department is “not ruling out” other options to improve traffic flow, studying the construction of truck lanes is now the focal point, Briggs said.

Like what you see here? Become a member.

Show Me the Errors (What's this?)

Report corrections or additions here. Leave comments below here.

You must be logged in to participate in the Show Me the Errors contest.


Last Link September 27, 2007 | 9:59 a.m.

Quote: The goal of the program is to “reduce congestion and improve freight movement”

We already have a system of 'freight only' roads throughout Missouri AND the midwest. They're called railroads.

(Report Comment)

Leave a comment

Speak up and join the conversation! Make sure to follow the guidelines outlined below and register with our site. You must be logged in to comment. (Our full comment policy is here.)

  • Don't use obscene, profane or vulgar language.
  • Don't use language that makes personal attacks on fellow commenters or discriminates based on race, religion, gender or ethnicity.
  • Use your real first and last name when registering on the website. It will be published with every comment. (Read why we ask for that here.)
  • Don’t solicit or promote businesses.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through. If you see something objectionable, please click the "Report comment" link.

You must be logged in to comment.

Forget your password?

Don't have an account? Register here.