Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) recently discussed the importance of infrastructure investments with Missouri’s transportation chief and a top federal transportation official.
At the Senate Commerce Committee’s March 24 Surface Transportation Subcommittee hearing on the reauthorization of the Surface Transportation Act, McCaskill questioned Dave Nichols, the director of the Missouri Department of Transportation, on the need for long-term federal funding commitments to transportation infrastructure.
“Missouri has the seventh-largest highway system in the country, and yet we’re 46th or 47th in revenue,” McCaskill said. “We have one of the lowest gas taxes in the country — the gas tax in Missouri hasn’t been raised in over 20 years — and so I know that (Nichols) didn’t plan this, but he is going to be retiring at the apex of a crisis in our state, and I know that he is working every day to try to convey to the people of Missouri that this problem is not one that’s going to be solved in Washington.”
Missouri has 33,702 miles of highway — more miles than Iowa, Nebraska and Kansas combined. MoDOT estimates that $1 billion a year for 20 years is needed to protect and build on the investment Missourians have already made on the transportation infrastructure.