Highway Commission Approves Transportation Program
JEFFERSON CITY — The Missouri Department of Transportation called its new budget "diminished" Wednesday after the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission approved the new 2013-2017 Statewide Transportation Improvement Program. MoDOT reported in a news release its transportation construction program dropped from an average of $1.2 billion to about $700 million for the new budget.
The program includes all transportation projects planned by state and regional planning agencies for fiscal years 2013 through 2017. The $700 million program will allow for resurfacing projects and general maintenance of the transportation system. MoDOT said the types of construction projects it can afford will not create jobs, increase safety, ease congestion or foster economic development.
MoDOT claimed it has reduced its number of employees, equipment and facilities in order to save the department $512 million by 2015.
"The Bolder Five-Year Direction implemented last year helps, but the reality is we can't cut our way to an improved transportation system," said MoDOT Director Kevin Keith in a news release. "This [program] shows how we will deliver on the commitments we've made to Missouri, but it also shows how we must now focus our resources on the roads and bridges that need it most."
The Highway and Transportation Commission approval comes after a draft version was released on May 2 and a public comment period ran through June 1, 2012. MoDOT works with regional and metropolitan planning organizations throughout the year to develop the program.
The 2013-2017 Statewide Transportation Improvement Program is available on MoDOT's web site, www.modot.org, and at MoDOT district and regional offices around the state.