South County Connector Is Opportunity For Transportation Innovation
The Show-Me Institute has long supported market-based solutions to infrastructure projects in Missouri, including using tolls to pay for new highway projects throughout the state. This week, in an editorial in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, we argued that the South County Connector should be Missouri’s first high-occupancy toll (HOT) road.
The South County Connector is a proposed route in Saint Louis County designed to ease north-south traffic congestion between South Saint Louis County and Clayton. Saint Louis County is responsible for this project, and is prepared to fund the road through property taxes, sales taxes, and gas tax funds. We suggest that Saint Louis County operate HOT express lanes on the connector in order to relieve congestion and help pay for the road. HOT lanes are express lanes that allow high-occupancy vehicles to use the lanes free while solo drivers pay a toll. This guarantees a free flow of traffic and generates revenue to pay for road construction and maintenance. HOT lanes have been successfully implemented in California and Virginia, and can serve Missouri as well.
For more on road funding in Missouri, read our other work about the possibility of tolling I-70 and transforming Missouri’s transportation funding paradigm.