When the Missouri Highways & Transportation Commission approved its fiscal year 2023-27 Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) last week, a $33,914,000 project for “freeway improvements in Seymour” on U.S. 60 was listed among the future-funded allocations.
The newest STIP, approved last Wednesday, July 6, lists transportation projects planned by state and regional planning agencies from this July 1 through June 30, 2027.
Per the commission’s STIP, a capital-improvement construction program approved for funding between July 1, 2023, and June 30, 2027, is Job Number SR0112, titled “Freeway improvements in Seymour,” which is a 2.55-mile project that includes 10.506 lane miles with the aforementioned price tag of $33,914,000.
It was one of 12 capital-improvement projects approved in the future STIP for the Southwest District of the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT), which is headquartered in Springfield and includes Webster County.
Seymour’s $33.9-million project is listed among projects in part funded by the 2021 passage of Missouri Senate Bill 262, which increased the Missouri state-fuel tax for the first time in 25 years, as well as an increase in federal highway funding from the November 2021 Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) passed congressionally.
Subsequently, Seymour’s project, Job Number SR0112, is listed as an “at-risk project,” meaning future funding for the planned highway work is not 100-percent guaranteed due to possible future legislative action.
The project for Seymour on U.S. 60, which includes an overpass at the city’s west edge, as well an outer roads, was listed as a project “with probable removal with the repeal of Senate Bill 262, subject to further review during the STIP process with planning partners.”
Statewide, there are $900 million in highway projects that are at risk, the commission said, between 2023 and 2027.
Another $600 million in statewide projects would be in jeopardy if the state’s fuel tax is repealed in the future.
The new STIP, fi rst released in May by MoDOT, “makes available $10 billion of federal and state revenues for all modes of transportation over the next five years, making it the state’s largest program, a MoDOT news release said.
Around $100 million comes from Missouri Gov. Mike Parson’s Rural Route program, addressing low-volume highways in the new fiscal year.
“Just a few years ago, our 2016 STIP made available a fraction of this program with only $2.6 billion,” MoDOT Director Patrick McKenna said. “The new STIP, our largest to date, is quite an achievement that has taken the collective efforts of policymakers, state leaders and the leadership of the (highway) commission, which has held firm on the need for resources to do the projects our citizens expect us to do.
“By working with planning partners across the state and listening to the needs of the communities we serve, we’ve made these plans to take care of this massive system.”
For Seymour’s $34.9-million project, the engineer for the project has been selected.
That engineer is Crawford, Murphy & Tilly (CMT), which has offices in Springfield. Leading the project in the past on behalf of the Webster County Commission has been Steve Prange, a professional engineer and vice president for CMT.
Funding for planning of Seymour’s highway improvements on U.S. 60 for the past few years have been provided exclusively by the Webster County Commission, a process that included a series of local meetings held at Seymour City Hall and the Seymour Senior Citizens’ Center.
Preliminary plans for the Seymour project should be released to the public early next year.
The final STIP is available online at https://www.modot.org/statewide-transportation-improvement-program-stip.