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MoDOT postpones expansion projects for the next five years

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI)-  MoDOT's transportation plan for the next five years is much different than before. The department says it won't begin any new expansion improvements.

No expansion for MoDOT means no new lanes, interchanges, or bridges projects the department usually takes on to improve safety and traffic flow, or spark economic development in an area. MoDOT's budget is pretty tight for the next few years. The chair describes the department's mood as "somber" in regards to the newly approved State Transportation Improvement Program.

The chair says it's already forcing contractors in the state to leave Missouri and find work elsewhere. According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, MoDOT estimates federal reimbursements will drop by $400 million over the next four years because the state doesn't have the money to match those federal dollars. The state legislature killed a gasoline tax hike, and voters said "No" to a sales tax increase.

One official says Missouri has built too many roads and bridges.

St. Louis Alderman Scott Ogilvie says more expansion isn't needed and that it comes at the expense of places like the city and undermines attempts to stabilize and fortify property values there. Officials say the state does have funds to maintain roads and interstates.

Snow will be plowed, potholes will be filled and traffic signals will be kept running, but little else will be done.