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State highway panel approves limited road maintenance plan

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) – Missouri drivers will see limited maintenance on some roads as the state’s transportation department grapples with a budget shortfall.

The Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission approved a plan Tuesday that will focus its efforts on about one-fourth of the state’s 32,000 miles of roads when the agency’s annual construction budget drops to $325 million in 2017.

The department plans to keep the primary roads used to travel between cities in good shape, while other roads will get only minimal maintenance such as filling potholes.

Commission Chair Stephen Miller says the scaled back plan will result in roads and bridges deteriorating.

The plan was first outlined by the agency last month. It comes after voters in August rejected an increase in the state sales tax to fund the state’s transportation department.