Public comments about what Joplin motorists see as the major concerns or needs for Seventh Street, which also is designated as Missouri Route 66, are being accepted by the Missouri Department of Transportation.
“We’re asking people who live there and work there for their input on what the needs are” for Seventh Street, said Craig Zwitzer, transportation project manager for MoDOT’s Southwest District.
Street and bridge projects on state-designated roads in Joplin, including a rebuild of Seventh Street, are listed in the preliminary draft of MoDOT’s spending plan for the next five years.
That is the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program. The STIP lists about $4.5 billion worth of tentative projects across the state in the draft form. The STIP plan is currently under review and is not final yet. Zwitzer said he expects the plan to be completed in July.
Engineers preparing for the Seventh Street project are seeking input now because the project is in the design phase, Zwitzer said. A consultant has been hired to gather information about traffic and other information for the planners to determine what work should be done on the 4-mile corridor.
Zwitzer said MoDOT originally planned for some concrete replacement to be done along with sidewalk replacement to meet requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act. But after new revenue was made available to the state, the proposed project was changed to replace all pavement and drainage systems and a rebuild of sidewalks. New crosswalks at traffic signals will be included.
Funding is coming from the state’s incremental gas tax increase that went into effect in July 2021 and from federal funding.
The gas tax will increase in increments of 2.5 cents per gallon annually through July 2025. The overall 12.5-cent increase will boost the gas tax in Missouri from 17 cents to 29.5 cents.
In addition, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration is distributing funding to the states under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, also known as the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
Comments on the Seventh Street plan will be accepted until Sunday, June 26. Go to www.modot.org/missouri-route-66-traffic-safety-improvements to get information or file a comment.
Those who cannot access the online site may call MoDOT’s Southwest District office at 417-895-7600.