Inadequate funding is what state and regional transportation officials say is preventing the expansion of U.S. Hwy 54 from Vandiver Village in eastern Audrain County to Louisiana.
Several years ago, MoDOT unveiled preliminary plans to take the two-lane highway and expand it into a shared-four lane highway between Vandiver Village and Louisiana. The cost of the expansion is estimated to exceed $80 million.
“As far as getting on the statewide transportation improvement plan, something would have to change regarding the funding,” Brian Haeffner, a MoDOT area engineer said in an interview on Thursday morning. The statewide transportation improvement plans is a document that the state transportation agency uses to prioritize projects, like the expansion of Hwy. 54, over a period of five years.
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