OREGON COUNTY -- One of the projects the Oregon County Commission has pushed for years is making Highway 63 from West Plains to the Arkansas border a four-lane highway.
Last week officials with the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT), announced there are 66 projects across the state that they see no way of funding in the next couple of decades. One of those projects is the Highway 63 four-lane project to Arkansas.
MoDOT has projected its funding for these projects over the next 20 years to be $31.4 billion. Their projected revenue for that same time period is $12.6 billion.
In a new booklet provided by MoDOT, it says there are 46 critical major road projects estimated to cost $5.5 billion which currently have no funding. It also says there are 20 bridges across the state (none in Oregon County) that need to be repaired or replaced if the department had the money.
Oregon County Presiding Commissioner Leo Warren was not happy with the recent MoDOT report but said he was glad that the passing lane project between West Plains and Thayer is still going to happen.
"We have been pushing for Highway 63 through the county to be made four-lanes for several years," Warren said.
He said there were several reasons for the need. "There is a great deal of traffic on that highway. Not only people traveling from Thayer to West Plains but there is a lot of big truck traffic coming out of Arkansas and going into Arkansas," Warren said.
He said making the highway four-lane would not only make the traffic flow more smoothly it would also make the road safer.