The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

February 20, 2014

Board adopts plan to rank area transportation projects

The Joplin Area Transportation Study Organization approved steps on Thursday that will be the framework by which the area will rank future projects for all modes of transportation.

The JATSO policy board met in the basement conference room of Joplin’s City Hall with Jerany Jackson, with Great River Associates, Springfield. They went over the steps that will assist all organizations in the Southwest District of the Missouri Department of Transportation.

The services are being provided by Great River through MoDOT at no cost to the planning organization.

Projects will be categorized by mode, including air, bike/pedestrian, freight, highway/road/bridge, and transit.

The local planners will put together a list of major project ideas to be considered for inclusion in MoDOT’s overall project plan for the state if a proposed 1-cent sales tax is put on the ballot and approved by Missourians.

Nick Heatherly, Joplin’s public works director, told the board that JATSO “would have to participate in the prioritization process to play in the game.”

If the plan for additional funding statewide does not go forward, the list would be incorporated into future state transportation plans for whenever funding might become available.

A public comment period on the transportation needs will open on March 3. JATSO will categorize and prioritize those needs in a meeting on March 24.

A list of the projects in the Southwest District, which includes Springfield and Branson, will be sent to MoDOT for review on April 30. A final list will be developed by June 30.

In other business, the JATSO policy board, which represents several cities, counties and planning organizations in Southwest Missouri, approved two amendments to the area’s Transportation Improvement Program. The amendments revised construction of two sidewalk projects in Carl Junction from 2013 to this year.

Joplin tax

THE BOARD ALSO LOOKED at Joplin’s capital projects sales tax renewal proposal. The 10-year sales tax will expire this year. Plans calls for it to be brought back before the voters in August for renewal to fund several projects in the city, with county partners and through MoDOT.

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