Missouri seeks ideas to preserve iconic I-70, legacy

Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission (MHTC) officials are dedicated to maintaining and improving Interstate 70, the nation's oldest Interstate highway, they said on Wednesday during the MHTC's monthly meeting at Union Station in Kansas City.

The commission discussed several ideas, including its plan to make Interstate 70 from Kansas City to St. Louis available to private industry, entrepreneurs and others as a construction laboratory to help develop the next generation of highways.

The program has been dubbed Road to Tomorrow. More information can be found online at www.modot.org/road2tomorrow.

"Missouri has always been a hub for transportation technology and innovation -- and our highways should be no exception," Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon said. "As we continue to work to identify a solution to our transportation funding needs, I appreciate the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) for taking a pro-active approach and embracing new technologies that will pave the way toward a brighter future."

MHTC Chairman Stephen Miller agreed. "It's only appropriate that the re-birth of the nation's Interstate system begin at its birthplace," Miller said.

President Eisenhower in 1956 signed legislation that authorized construction of the Interstate highway system. Shortly thereafter, Missouri was the first state to bid out and award an Interstate construction contract for a section of Interstate 44 in Laclede County.

Miller said public input is sought on the Road to Tomorrow program.

"We're open to any and all ideas," Miller said. "Just as MoDOT's design-build projects over the last decade have produced insights and innovations not previously imagined, we are confident that offering free rein to human creativity and a designated site for implementation will generate the very best in American ingenuity."

MoDOT Chief Engineer Ed Hassinger has put in place a team of MoDOT experts to gather and look at ideas from the private sector. Officials are looking for ideas about traffic engineering, design and construction, as well as new, fresh ways to fund transportation infrastructure.

Those ideas need not only focus on innovations in traffic engineering, design and construction, but also innovative ways of funding transportation infrastructure.

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Missouri Department of Transportation

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