The Missouri Department of Transportation has launched the next phase of the Missouri Freight Plan to engage business and local leaders, along with freight and industry stakeholders, in a discussion regarding funding of Missouri's freight infrastructure.

These discussions will prioritize how to use the scarce funds that exist, along with how to best invest new funds in freight projects, should these funds become available, according to the state DOT.

The Missouri Department of Transportation launched the Missouri Freight Plan as the next step in a process begun in 2013 to develop the state's long-range transportation plan. Statewide freight forums were conducted in January and February of this year to obtain significant input into the plan from freight stakeholders. 

“Freight moved by trucks, barges, planes and trains is an essential part of the state's economy,” said the state DOT. “In 2012, for example, Missouri exported $13.9 billion in freight. In developing the Freight Plan, the Missouri Department of Transportation is working with freight partners to help itself, and the state as a whole, better understand the cost to the Missouri economy if the state's freight network stagnates or deteriorates.”

The Freight Priorities and Investment Forums will discuss funding, while sharing key findings about freight that could help Missouri achieve freight network goals, spur economic growth and create jobs.

The Freight Priorities and Investment Forums will take place in Springfield on April 24, Kansas City on April 25 and St. Louis May 2. All sessions will run from 9-11:30 a.m.

The state DOT anticipates the draft freight plan to be prepared for review by June 2014, with a final report in September 2014.

To participate, freight and industry stakeholders, along with business and local leaders, can contact Chelsey Smith at 816-627-4768 or [email protected]