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Holy MoDot! Have you been to Van Buren lately?Posted Tuesday, May 27, 2008, at 8:17 PM
This photo was taken on Tuesday, May 27, 2008. It shows the construction progress on Missouri Highway 60 through the southern part of the state, between Poplar Bluff and Springfield. This stretch is west of Van Buren.
Wow, wow, wow!!
I was through the area as late as February 17, 2008; in fact, I probably make 6 - 10 trips across the southern part of Missouri each year, so I've been keeping up with the progress on the highway - but I was totally shocked by what I saw on this trip!
I just got back this afternoon, so I haven't had time to call MoDot to find out some details on the project.
In particular, I want to ask them what'll happen to this particular project if the Missouri Legislature suspends the gas tax for this summer. I really wonder if that's a good idea. I wouldn't want to see that project stopped. We here in the southern part of the state have had to drive over those roads for years, and it's so good to see them brought up to quality standards. It surely will be good for tourism in Missouri.
What do you think, folks? I'll post some more details on here in a day or two.
6/01/08 Update: I called the MoDOT hotline (just kidding - It isn't "hot.") and a nice young lady said she would email me some info, but she also directed me to the MoDOT website, www.modot.org. At the risk of sounding like a governmental official (which I know will really tick Shannonhoon off), I'm including what they have on the Route 60 Corridor Project, which is in District 9 (neat map on the site).
"The Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) has committed to improving Missouri's 5,500 miles of major highways, which carries nearly 80 percent of the state's traffic. Approximately 95 percent of Missouri's residents live within 10 miles of these roads.
Several projects are listed in the 2008-2012 Statewide Transportation Improvement Plan (STIP). The STIP was approved by the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission (MHTC) during the July meeting. After the STIP is approved and projects are let and then awarded, updates will be made on the Route 60 project information page.To accomplish this, MoDOT works under the following programs:
Amendment 3 - The majority of the construction projects are being funded through Amendment 3, which was approved by Missouri voters in November 2004. The amendment gives the department a larger portion of existing vehicle sales taxes. It forwarded existing highway taxes to road and bridge construction. The law requires that any Amendment 3 revenue be spent only on road improvements.
Better Roads, Brighter Futures -- A follow-up to the Smooth Roads Initiative, which brought 2,200 miles of major road up to good condition, this program takes on the next wave of 3,300 miles by the end of 2011. Improvements include roadway surface treatments and safety improvements such as wider striping, brighter signing, additional rumble strips and improved shoulders.
Statewide Transportation Improvement Plan (STIP) -- The STIP is a five-year plan, which outlines projects identified as priorities by MoDOT and its regional planning partners. Once the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission approve the STIP, its contents become commitments of the department. STIP 2008-2010
Completion of the entire Route 60 Corridor is expected by the end of 2010.
If additional information is required, contact the MoDOT Customer Service Center, toll-free, at 1-888-ASK MoDOT (275-6636)."
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Madeline (Giles) DeJournett is the Advance writer for the North Stoddard Countian. A retired high school English/history teacher, she spent 32 years teaching in 5 schools in Missouri and Alaska. These days, she lives quietly with a menagerie of wild and domestic animals on 52 secluded acres in the remote Tillman hills south of Advance. She graduated from Dexter High School in 1960 and Southeast Missouri State in 1964. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.