The new director of the Missouri Department of Transportation continued his call to boost state transportation spending on Tuesday.
At the Joint Committee on Transportation Oversight, Transportation Director Patrick McKenna cast Missouri’s infrastructure issues as fixable, but not without more funding. He said Missouri is facing a “tidal wave of replacement needs” and that “treading water is simply not good enough.”
Currently, 60 percent of Missouri bridges are older than their 50-year design life and 2,000 bridges in the state have been classified as deficient.
McKenna touted recent gas tax increase proposals and urged lawmakers to take them into consideration. Missouri’s gas tax, 17 cents per gallon, has not been raised since 1996. McKenna said the state can’t do as much with 17 cents as it could two decades ago, and encouraged lawmakers to get ahead of the problem.
Read more: St. Louis Post-Dispatch