Last Monday we told you about an insane idea by Missouri DOT chief Kevin Keith that would take a currently toll-free I-70 and convert it to a toll road that could cost motorists as much as $30 each way and truckers as much as $90.
Now, the MoDOT chief is saying he intends to stifle any general opposition by going around Missouri voters and seeking to turn the road into a toll road "legally". For the record, Missouri voters have already rejected two tries by state authorities that would amend the state constitution to create toll roads. So what did Keith say when he would try to bypass voters? According to St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Keith said "We believe we can do the public-private partnership for I-70, as we outlined it, legally."
This should be a wake up call, again, not only for motorists who may be affected by this proposed change, but also to motorists nationwide who can expect to see such attempts by other state governments crippled by their poor fiscal policies. Looking at the situation with I-70, there is no clear easy alternate route to take. It would be one thing in my mind if there was a toll-free alternate route nearby, but with no such route available, I'm stunned that the U.S. DOT even approved this move.
The Post-Dispatch story goes on to say that "The Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry says it has a policy opposing tolls on existing highways. But chamber officials will sit down with MoDOT before taking the plan to its board of directors, said Tracy King, the chamber's vice president of government affairs."
Well I certainly hope the Chamber of Commerce can bring some sense into the chief of MoDOT and other authorities, because attempting to toll a road at among the highest per mile charge in the nation should get your rear-end kicked out of office- but that's just my opinion. What's your opinion on this all? Let us know! Read more from the
St. Louis Post-Dispatch