Decline in funding forces MODOT to reorganize
Wed, 04 May 2011 13:32:15 GMT —
UPDATE: May 12 and 11:35 a.m.
MoDot presented its Bolder Five Year plan to residents of Clark County.
They are traveling the district briefing communities about the plan.
MoDOT's Northeast District Engineer Paula Gough explained the high-level impact of staff reductions, facility closures and consolidations, along with equipment reductions, which would save the state more then 5 hundred million dollars.
Gough says with the loss of federal funds, the state has to do something while still putting focus on bridges and roads.
If all goes as planned, the Bolder Five Year plan could be passed as early as June 8th.
(AP) UPDATE: May 4 at 1:30 p.m.
Missouri's transportation director is proposing to cut staff and close facilities to save several hundred million dollars to devote more resources to road and bridge projects.
Kevin Keith estimates his plan would save the Transportation Department $512 million through 2015. It calls for cutting 1,200 staff positions, closing 135 facilities and selling 740 pieces of equipment.
Keith presented the plan Wednesday to the Highways and Transportation Commission, which is expected to act on it at a June 8 meeting. If approved, the plan would be fully implemented by the end of 2012.
The changes are being proposed as Missouri has less money available for road construction. For the past five years, Missouri has averaged $1.2 billion for highway construction. However, that could be halved for the next five years.
T he director of the Missouri Department of Transportation says the state agency must reorganize to make it the right size to serve customers across the Show Me State.
Kevin Keith is the MODOT director and he says the reorganization is necessary because of the severe decline of transportation funding.
The complete report will be made available to the public after Keith delivers it's to the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission in Jefferson City.
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The Missouri Department of Transportation is being "right-sized".
That's how MO-DOT's director describes a plan to downsize the agency.
The idea is to save a half-billion dollars over the next five years.
MODOT state director Kevin Keith has proposed a reorganization plan that would cut 12 hundred employees, close three district offices, close 111 maintenance sheds and sell 744 pieces of equipment.
There will be little new construction.
Paula Gough is the the MODOT district engineer is Hannibal and she said. "We have seen the end of our very large construction programs and construction programs going from averaging $1.2 billion per year, to only $600 million. So we have to change in response to the changing economics that are facing us."
Keith said the agency does not want to eliminate people he calls 'boots on the ground'...people who work the roads.
He says many of the 12 hundred jobs eliminated will be from middle management through attrition, retirements and layoffs.
Workers will focus on maintaining the state's roads and bridges.
"It's resurfacing, bridge rehabilitations, bridge reconstructions. It's not addressing any of those major infrastructure needs that many communities across the state want. Just taking care of, we have to focus on what we have," according to Gough
The state highway and transportation commission could okay this reorganization at its meeting in Hannibal on June 8th.
After the announcement in Jefferson City, we called State Representative Paul Quinn who's district covers parts of Northeast Missouri, he said, "the legislative leadership has to say finally that, OK, It's not necessarily in favor of taxes, even the leadership can say that. But we have to be offering to the people, " what do you want?" You know sometimes, being afraid of not offering it, is the worse thing we can do."