Building Missouri’s Urban and Transportation Infrastructures to Support Economic Development
This study presents the case for Missouri promoting more rapid economic growth by developing a Saint Louis–Kansas City urban corridor as a component and model for a subsequent, larger Kansas City–Columbus, Ohio, urban corridor. In the course of the development of these urban corridors, substantially enhanced transportation infrastructure investments would be necessary in order to realize the opportunities presented, and to obtain the benefits envisioned. This would involve large increases in the capacity of Interstate Highway 70, as well as opening up large areas of low-cost land for the location of new business ventures near to the highway developments.
This study also addresses the federal “Corridors of the Future” program, as well as addressing proposals that have been made to add truck-only lanes (TOLs) to the existing I-70. It also considers alternatives for providing advanced-technology freight transportation (based on enhancements of the current intermodal model), as well as high-speed passenger rail services that could be considered if the urban corridor concept were to be implemented.
Finally, the study elaborates the benefits of installing an advanced-technology freight railroad, with provision for passenger services, in the proposed urban corridor. It further contrasts the comparative benefits and costs of rail and truck movement of freight, including movement of freight by TOLs. The analyses presented here include a discussion of financing alternatives with a particular emphasis on the value of tolling, as a means of ensuring that those who use the infrastructure disproportionately pay a higher share of its costs.