State releases Amendment 7 project list ahead of vote

Old Tiffany Springs overpass, I-29/45 Highway interchange of note for Platte County

The Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission released a lengthy list of projects that could receive funding if state Constitutional Amendment 7 passes. Missourians will vote on the proposal in the upcoming election, scheduled for Aug. 5. Only a few of the hundreds listed in the MHTC document affect Platte County, but overall, the proposed list calls for $4.8 billion in transportation projects — the majority focusing on the state’s roads and bridges. The question on the ballot asks whether or not “to enact a temporary sales tax of three-quarters of one percent to be used solely to fund state and local highways, roads, bridges and transportation projects for ten years with priority given to repairing unsafe roads and bridges.” If approved, the tax is expected to produce $480 million annually to the state’s Transportation Safety and Job Creation Fund and $54 million for local governments. Increases in the gas tax will be prohibited, and the revenue can only be used for transportation purposes, not diverted for other uses. “This list is the culmination of years of work, with collaboration from local transportation planners as well as input from thousands of citizens from across the state,” MHTC chairperson Stephen Miller said. “It represents a substantial investment in Missouri’s transportation infrastructure but also means safer roads, more jobs and a better economy.” There were 48 projects in the Kansas City area on the MHTC’s list, only two specific to Platte County — Improvements to the interchange at Interstate 29 and State Highway 45 at a cost of $2.48 million and $2 million for a realignment and replace of the Old Tiffany Springs Road bridge over I-29. Both would be contingent on contributions from the City of Kansas City totaling $15 million. Other projects involving Platte County were listed as regional non-motorized transportation program, Kansas City Area Transportation Authority public transit system perseveration (capital improvement and operations and maintenance). There is also $3 budgeted to expand the SCOUT traffic management system — a bi-state system the Kansas and Missouri departments of transportation (KDOT, MoDOT) designed to lessen traffic jams by improving rush-hour speeds, to increase safety by decreasing the number of rush-hour accidents and to improve emergency response to traffic situations. Scout manages traffic on more than 125 miles of continuous freeways in the greater Kansas City metropolitan area, including parts of Platte County, using cameras to monitor the highways from its traffic management center in Lee’s Summit. The system relies on sensors to gage traffic flow, uses large electronic message boards to send urgent traffic notices to drivers along the freeways and activates a Highway Advisory Radio system that motorists in Missouri can tune to in the event of a freeway incident.

Read the whole story in this week's issue of The Citizen.