By Gregg Jones
Union Missourian Editor
Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) Area Engineer Judy Wagner told members of the Highway 47 Committee Wednesday that collecting input is the next step in determining how to move forward with transportation needs.
And now county residents can weigh in on a proposed $53 million in transportation funds proposed for this area.
“They can let us know if these are the projects they want,” Wagner said.
The priority list of projects would be funded if a three-quarter-cent transportation sales tax is approved by state voters Aug. 5. The priority list also must be approved by the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission.
The list is online at www.modot.org. People may click on the “Moving Forward” tab and scroll down for the list of priorities and an area to comment.
“Next we will be out educating Missourians on the projects — telling them this is what is on the list,” said Wagner.
Wagner noted that the public comment period will end July 3. The state highway commission is expected to approve the priority list by July 9.
Highway 47 corridor improvements takes up the bulk of the proposed tax funds with $40.586 million. Next is $12 million slated for state roads, including Highway 100, Highway 185, as well as FF, KK, MM, O, OO, YY and BB.
There also is about $414,000 proposed for OATS and Franklin County Transit Authority.
The tax is expected to generate $53.9 billion over the course of 10 years. That figure has been adjusted for inflation, Wagner said.
If the transportation sales tax passes, 90 percent of the revenue would be for state projects, and the other 10 percent would be split between cities and counties.
She noted that $500 million will be used for Interstate 70 improvements, and $50 million will be taken off the top for the Missouri Department of Revenue collection costs.
There will be 5 percent, or $270 million, distributed annually among Missouri cities, and another 5 percent divvied among counties.
Those funds are distributed among cities based on the 2013 CART (County Aid Road Trust) funds. CART funds are generated by the current gasoline tax. The fund distribution is based on factors including population and road miles.
Following are the annual projected amount of additional funds for the county and local municipalities:
• Franklin County — $572,500;
• Pacific — $47,842;
• St. Clair — $32,277;
• Union — $69,720;
• Washington — $95,534; and
• Sullivan — $48,382.
Wagner said those funds, like the CART funds, can be used for transportation projects.
“You can go out and asphalt alleys if you want, as long as it’s related to transportation,” she said.
The $40 million that was set aside to widen Highway 47 between Washington and St. Clair would not cover the whole cost of that project.
Wagner said the construction cost to make the corridor four lanes from Washington to St. Clair could be $85 million, and that does not take into account other expenses such as engineering, design, right of way acquisition and environmental study.
Widening Highway 47 between Washington and St. Clair has been the main project that officials have been focused on in regards to the proposed transportation sales tax.
Part of the project would possibly involve building a new section of road to realign Highway 47 near Union.
Union city officials have said Highway 47 construction should begin in Union to alleviate the congestion. A new bridge over the Bourbeuse River in Union may have to be built as part of the realignment.
Other parts of the project could involve upgrading existing sections of Highway 47.