Missouri highway official: I-70 crumbling below surface - KMOV.com

Missouri highway official: I-70 crumbling below surface

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(KMOV.com) – The head of the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission said the surface of I-70 may appear to be in good shape, but underneath, the road is crumbling.

Steve Miller said the interstate is like a set of rotting teeth with a nice veneer in which people can't notice the problems underneath. The highway was built in the 1950s on a concrete foundation and several layers have been added above the foundation over the years. The extra layers are 13-18 inches thick in some places.

“The concrete pavement is starting to rubberize and turn back to gravel if you will. That's the problem, the underlying pavement is old, and it has outlived its life. You can keep putting band-aids on top of it but the problem still lies underneath it. You have pavement rotting below the surface,” said Tom Evers with MoDOT.

According to MoDOT, 30 percent of the vehicles on the highway are 18-wheelers. Over the course of an entire year, the interstate handles 31 tons of freight.

“What we're doing is we're opening Missouri to innovators and entrepreneurs to bring to us the next and newest ideas that will drive a new generation of transportation,” said Miller.

Some have proposed the idea of turning I-70 into a futuristic highway with fiber optic cables embedded in the roadway for a GPS system, the road would also feature self-driving vehicles. Other favor a more traditional road model.

One of the biggest issues has been how to pay for improvements. Voters rejected a sales tax increase in August, 2014 and many in Warren County are opposed to a toll road.

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