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MoDOT needing more funding

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HANNIBAL, Mo. (WGEM) -

Are you tired of driving down highways that are in bad shape? Would you be willing to pay more to fix them?  The Missouri Department of Transportation is pushing a one cent sales tax that could generate hundreds of millions of dollars that would be used for better roads and bridges.  

MoDOT is asking for more funding so it can help repair roads like this as well as fund more projects that will help Missouri drivers, but this wouldn't be a decision for lawmakers.  MoDOT wants the tax proposal put on the ballot so voters can decide if they want to pay more for better roads.

Patrick Folweiler and Robert Burditt disagree on whether they should be paying a sales tax for transportation needs.  As Folweiler fills up his car, he understands there's a need for more funding, but he thinks MoDOT should look elsewhere.   
"I'm not saying they don't really need the money. I'm just opposed to sales tax. Enough of it already comes out of our pocket being me, my family and the public," he said.  

However, Burditt sees it is an investment everyone needs to be a part of if they want to travel on a safe road. 
"There's a lot of roads that in Missouri that need bridges, that need to have sides and shoulders made up, there's a great deal of work that needs to be done," Burditt said.  

Marisa Ellison said the yearly budget for MoDOT's Northeast District is around $120 million, but this sales tax would more than double that. 

"This would actually allow us actually have a robust construction program and improve our transportation system," she said.  

One project that could get done is a new Champ Clark Bridge, something that's been on hold because of a lack of funding.  Ellison said with the funds right now, MoDOT can't do as much as it would like.   

"We are in the full maintain mode right now, which means we're doing what we can to keep the roads in the condition that they are. The money that we receive now does not allow expanded construction," she said.

Ellison says there's still a lot to do before this goes into affect.  November would probably be the earliest before it could go to a statewide vote. 

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