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Legislative Priorities

Congressionally Directed Project Funding Requests

US 60 Improvements in the OTO Urban Area

Expand James River Freeway to 6 lanes between National Avenue and West Bypass (State Highway 160):

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Current traffic is pushing the existing 4-lane James River Freeway to capacity. The freeway can be expanded by adding lanes in the existing median. The project will include the addition of a median barrier wall, which will improve safety.

  • Phase I: National to Kansas - $14.15 million (Submitted for Draft 2022-2026 STIP)
  • Phase II: Kansas to West Bypass - $16.6 million

Upgrade US 60 to Freeway Standards in the OTO Urban Freeway:

The existing road floods, causing MoDOT to use emergency bypass routes. In addition, current intersections lead to traffic accidents and congestion. Project would remove at-grade crossings and add outer roads.

  • US 65 to Farm Road 213 - $15.8 million

Grand Street Underpass and Streetscape Improvements

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Missouri State University and the City of Springfield are working together to replace the Grand Street Underpass and make streetscape improvements that encourages crossing only as designated. This will improve safety for all pedestrians and make the crossing accessible to all. The University already has designated $3.5 million. Additional funds are needed to complete the project.

  • Grand Street Pedestrian Underpass and Streetscape Improvements - $3 million (Submitted for Draft TIP)

I-44 Improvements in the OTO Urban Area

Expand I-44 to 6 lanes in the Springfield area:

I-44 has reached capacity and has 40% freight volume. Both vehicular and freight volume continue to rise. The Interstate can be expanded by adding lanes in the existing median and can be phased.

Total Estimated Cost - $73 million

US 65 Improvements in Christian County

Expand US 65 to 6 lanes in Christian County:

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US 65 has been widened from I-44 in Greene County to State Highway CC in Christian County. The project includes a bridge that must be replaced no later than 2026. The last section to be widened is from Highway CC to Highway F in the City of Ozark. The design and environmental clearances are completed. This project is ready to go once funding is available and can be programmed in the STIP/TIP quickly.

  • Bridge-Only Cost - $5 million
  • Entire Corridor Cost - $21.9 million (Environmental/ROW Work Completed)

MM Highway in City of Republic

MM Highway Relocation and Expansion:

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Highway MM is an essential freight corridor for Southwest Missouri as it connects the Springfield-Branson National Airport with I-44, US 360, and US 60. A new Amazon distribution facility is set to open August 2021 and improvements are planned adjacent to this site. Additional improvements that are needed will expand Highway MM between US 60 and I-44 to accommodate the increased freight from Amazon and other planned developments. This project can be completed in phases.

  • Phase I: Four lanes from US 360 to I-44 - $9.2 million
  • Phase II: Highway realignment from US 360 to US 60 - $28 million (Submitted for Draft 2022-2026 STIP)

Total Estimated Cost - $37.2 million

Regional Trails

Regional Trail Expansion in the OTO Urban Area:

The OTO region has identified $125 million in trail expansion projects to connect the region with trails. This economic development tool will attract a qualified workforce to the region with amenities that are considered essential to recreation and transportation needs. This can be funded in increments of any amount, as OTO identified $500,000 segments.

Wilson's Creek Boulevard Trail:

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The Wilson's Creek Boulevard Trail would complete a trail connection between the developed portions of the City of Republic, Wilson's Creek National Battlefield, and the Republic High School. This trail segment would parallel Route ZZ within existing MoDOT right-of-way. The construction of the Wilson's Creek Boulevard Trail would help create a safe route for students attending Republic High School, improved pedestrian access to Wilson's Creek National Battlefield, and fill another gap to connect the City of Republic, the Wilson's Creek National Battlefield, and the City of Springfield with an off-street bicycle and pedestrian trail.

  • Wilson’s Creek Boulevard Trail - $2.5 million (Right-of-Way acquired)

Chadwick Flyer Trail:

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The Chadwick Flyer Trail was a rail line running between Greene and Christian County that has been abandoned. The City of Ozark is constructing a portion of the trail in Christian County. The region has been presented with the timely opportunity to convert the trail currently owned by BNSF to trail. The construction of the Chadwick Flyer Trail in Greene County would help create an 8.3 mile trail that provides safe transportation for commuters and school children, as well as alternate access for businesses, entertainment, and tourism. It is a priority for the region to connect our communities with trails.

  • Chadwick Flyer Trail - in Greene County Phase I - $5 million (can be phased in smaller increments

Total Estimated Cost - $8 million

Electric Buses

City Utilities Transit Electric Buses:

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City Utilities Transit is working to convert the bus fleet to all alternative fuel sources including electric and natural gas. City Utilities has already been awarded federal funding for 2 buses that should be delivered in mid-2021. Additional funding can be added to the TIP within 30 days of award notice. Over the next 5 years, 19 additional buses are needed, for a total cost of $19 million. This can be funded in $1 million increments.

  • Phase I - 6 Electric Buses - $6 million (Prior phase funded, easily added to TIP)
  • Phase II - 19 Electric Buses - $19 million

2021 Federal Legislative Priorities

Short Term Priorities

OTO supports the timely passage of long-term transportation reauthorization legislation that includes increased funding levels for roads, bridges, transit, bicycling and pedestrian infrastructure and transportation planning.

OTO supports partnerships between local, state, and federal entities that will maximize available dollars through collaborative efforts.

OTO requests additional transportation infrastructure funding to support the OTO Priorities which include safety and congestion relieving projects, as well as bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure to support the continued development of a healthy region.

OTO supports an increase in the FAA Passenger Facility Charge to assist funding airport facilities.

OTO supports the streamlining of environmental review processes including one federal decision and reductions in authorization decision timelines to extend to Environmental Assessments as well Environment Impact Statements.

Longer Term Priorities

OTO supports long term sustainable funding for transportation in order to strengthen the United States Highway Trust Fund program and ensure funding is available for the country’s critical transportation infrastructure projects.

OTO supports more direct allocations to state, regional, and local governments with less federal oversight and streamlined regulations.

2021 State Legislative Priorities

OTO supports alternative sources of funding for transportation infrastructure to ensure increased investment in the statewide system; such funding should not negatively impact the state's limited general revenue budget.

  • OTO supports the MoDOT Miles Per Gallon Equitable Motor Vehicle Registration Model.
  • OTO supports a 10-cent motor fuel tax increase to include two cents per year for five years to replace lost revenue due to inflation and increased vehicle fuel efficiency.
  • OTO supports increasing auto license and registration fees in order to fund transportation infrastructure improvements.
  • OTO supports partnerships between MoDOT, local governments, and the private sector including the cost share program.

OTO supports increased funding for multimodal transportation to improve port, rail, aviation, and a dedicated source of state transit funding for Missouri’s public transit providers.

OTO supports legislation that provides states, cities, and counties the right to collect sales and use taxes from internet sales regardless of the location of the business providing the good or service.

OTO opposes the transfer of state-owned roadways to local ownership and maintenance with or without funding to offset the cost.


OTO supports the passage of a primary seatbelt law to allow law enforcement to stop a driver for not wearing a safety belt.

OTO supports the prohibition of hand-held texting while driving for all drivers.

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