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Under Funded Rural Roads A Crisis For States

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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOX) — Not enough funding is the norm for rural transportation according to a University Missouri professor who says that funding gap is harming the health of rural Missourians and the economy of the whole state.

The Federal Highway Administration says rural roads make up 80 percent of the national road network and carry about 40 percent of all vehicle traffic, but a trio of experts at the University of Missouri say that isn’t reflected in the way funding is dispersed.

Dr. Tom Johnson is the Frank Miller Professor of Agricultural and Applied Economics at the University Missouri. He says transportation funding generally goes to places where there is congestion.

However, Johnson and his colleagues point out that more that half (57 percent) of traffic fatalities occur nationally on rural roads. Johnson says this suggested change is not a “squeaky wheel gets the grease movement.”

“Its looking at the resources, the expenditure , the funding we do have, and asking whether it is making the biggest difference possible,” Johnson said.


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