States Step Up Local Transportation Funding Efforts

Missouri and Maine are the latest states taking steps to improve the flow of funds to local transportation projects.

[Above photo by MoDOT]

For example, the Missouri General Assembly – during its previous legislative session – appropriated $75 million to the Missouri Department of Transportation and Missouri Department of Economic Development to fund the local Transportation Cost-Share Program established by Governor Mike Parson (R) in 2019.

Gov. Mike Parson (at left) with MoDOT Director Patrick McKenna. Photo by MoDOT.

That program aims to build partnerships between state agencies and municipalities to support local road and bridge projects, matching up to 50 percent of the construction contract costs for selected projects.

MoDOT noted in statement that 20 percent of those funds are set aside for projects that demonstrate economic development.

Meanwhile, Governor Janet Mills (D) of Maine recently convened a meeting with municipal officials to discuss Village Partnership Initiative.

Through this program, the Maine Department of Transportation works in partnership with local officials to revitalize “iconic” village centers, while promoting pedestrian-, bicycle-, and business-friendly features that help promote a sense of community and economic opportunity.

Photo by the Maine DOT

Through that initiative, municipalities collaborate with Maine DOT and work with a multidisciplinary team of engineers, designers, and planners to provide collaborative solutions for transformative plans for future implementation if federal grants or other special funding becomes available.

“Downtowns are the places that make Maine special. They are where you run errands, go shopping, and bump into friends,” said the governor in a statement.

“And [we have] beautiful downtown spaces with so much opportunity for residents, businesses, and tourist,” she said. “Through the Village Partnership Initiative, towns … are partnering with my administration to further enrich their downtowns – and we look forward to seeing the results in the years to come.”

“The goal of our Village Partnership Initiative is to make smart, targeted investments in the places where people walk, bike, shop, and do business,” added Bruce Van Note, commissioner of the Maine DOT. “It’s exciting to see some of these projects begin to take shape with this support from our partners at the municipal level.”

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