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Missouri roads are as bad as you think they are, and getting worse. Yes, money is a problem, but so is a sovereign highway department with management woes.

MAIN STORY  
Kansas City Star
  State of Disrepair: Part One
MoDOT falters as roadways crumble
Just mention Missouri roads, then brace yourself. From truckers to tourists, everyone complains about Missouri's highways. They're terrible. An embarrassment to the state. You know the precise moment when you cross the border into Missouri.

»Good roads, bad roads and the money factor (.pdf)
»A rough ride: How many bumps on I-70? (.pdf)
»Driving Missouri's harrowing highways (.pdf)

MORE STORIES  

State of Disrepair: Part One
Teeth-rattling tour takes stock of highways
It's straight-up noon on U.S. 60 near Aurora in southwest Missouri. Bam! The car jerks as the front tires hit a bump. Bam! Bam! The bumps get worse. That stretch of bumpy road was just one of many encountered by a Kansas City Star reporter who drove thousands of miles on Missouri highways, measuring road roughness along the way.

State of Disrepair: Part One
Bad roads mean business at auto shop
Missouri's roads keep Jim Rosenthal in business. "They're in very poor shape, to be right truthful," said Rosenthal, who owns Jim's Alignment Service in Mexico. "It's getting worse, too. I'm seeing customers more regularly than I used to."

State of Disrepair: Part One
Many highway funds go to other agencies
The Missouri Highway Patrol got more than $118 million. An additional $56 million went to the state Department of Revenue. And the Department of Economic Development took in almost $3 million. The money flowed to the agencies last year from the state highway fund, which is used to fix Missouri's deteriorating roads and bridges.

State of Disrepair: Part One
'Corn for Cars'
Did you hear the one about the guy who bought a car and paid for it with 10,000 bushels of corn?

State of Disrepair: Part Two
As roads rot, so does MoDOT's credibility
A construction van bounced along a rough section of Interstate 55 in southeast Missouri one day last fall. Suddenly, a ladder jolted loose from the top and hit the road, skidding down the right lane and forcing panicked motorists to swerve.

State of Disrepair: Part Two
Worn-out I-70 won't be upgraded for years
Don't expect a smooth, congestion-free drive from Kansas City to St. Louis for decades, if then.

State of Disrepair: Part Two
Top states say money, public trust are keys
When Missouri transportation officials want advice, they know where to go: Kansas

State of Disrepair: Part Two
Reform ideas slowly emerge
Critics have plenty of ideas about how to fix Missouri's highways, but most of them revolve around two areas: better leadership and more money.

Links
These Web sites provide information about roads.

About the series, staff
In 2001, projects reporter Judy L. Thomas drove a tractor-trailer rig 6,000 miles through 15 states for a series about tired truckers. Along the way she experienced what truckers and other drivers have said for years -- Missouri's highways are among the nation's worst.

State of Disrepair
MoDOT draws state auditor's fire
The director of Missouri's Transportation Department should resign and the highway commission that oversees the agency should be abolished, state Auditor Claire McCaskill said Monday.