MoDOT director discusses future plans

2 years 3 months 4 weeks ago Monday, December 21 2015 Dec 21, 2015 Monday, December 21, 2015 3:56:00 PM CST December 21, 2015 in News
By: Lauren Groppenbacher, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

JEFFERSON CITY - KOMU sat down with Patrick McKenna, the new Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) director, to hear his plans for the future of MoDOT.

McKenna became the official director on December 7th this year, and he said the first thing that had to be done was assessing the transportation system’s current condition while listening to the desires of policymakers and the public.

“These things had to be done to build the transportation network we all want to use and interact with on a daily basis,” McKenna said.

McKenna said repairing bridges in the state is the primary focus. Missouri has over 600 bridges that are in critical condition.

“We need to address these things because that limits the communities’ connection to the infrastructure itself,” McKenna said. 

McKenna said several other areas are in need of work right now, but lack the proper funding. He brought up the state’s interstate system as an example.

“I-70 was one of the first interstate components of the interstate systems that was built in the 1950s, and it’s aged out and ready for replacement,” McKenna said. “We do not have a funding solution at present for reconstructing our interstate system.”

McKenna said we are in need of this funding to enable efficient freight movement and transportation of the type of goods and people that is essential for Missouri. McKenna said these things are crucial in order to create a “seamless” transportation system.

McKenna said there is a tremendous amount of growth expected in the production of food in the next 50 years. He said global food production is anticipated to double.

“We want to make sure Missouri is positioned well to take advantage of that increase,” McKenna said. “We want to be able to bring our agricultural products to market.”

McKenna laid out his priorities for his new position: First, repairing the bridges, focusing on maintenance second, and then laying out future plans.

McKenna also said it is crucial to attract and maintain the younger population and workers in the state. 

“We need to look at all modes of transportation and the new innovations and technologies in order to retain this population,” McKenna said.

McKenna said MoDOT also needs to focus on the aging workforce by replacing older workers more readily as they retire.

MoDOT has face some funding issues in the past, but McKenna said the agency cut back and used the money sufficiently.

In a recent statement, MoDOT chairman Stephen Miller said:

“In March of 2010, MoDOT embarked on a five-year effort to reduce its workforce by 20 percent (from 6,300 to just over 5,100 – a reduction of 1,200 employees); close 124 facilities (including three district offices which employed hundreds); and sell off almost 750 pieces of heavy equipment.”

“The department did downsize about 20 percent and over a 5 year period there were 124 maintenance faculties that were closed,” McKenna said.

Yet, McKenna said these cutbacks put about $600 million right back into infrastructure funding.

“This has made the department leaner and more efficient,” McKenna said.

Over the next couple months, McKenna said MoDOT needs to work with their commission to get ideas for future plans authorized.

Currently, MoDOT is updating the State Transportation Improvement Plan, which is revised annually. This plan will outline the types of projects that need funding for 2017-2021. 

“We need to let communities determine how they want to live and how they want to operate within their communities, and then we have to work on connecting those communities,” McKenna said.

 

 

 

 

 

More News

Grid
List
CLAYTON (AP) — A former St. Louis-area teacher will be on five years of probation for having sex with a... More >>
8 minutes ago Saturday, April 21 2018 Apr 21, 2018 Saturday, April 21, 2018 8:43:59 AM CDT April 21, 2018 in News
UNIVERSITY CITY (AP) — A former St. Louis-area day care teaching assistant has been found guilty of molesting a 5-year-old... More >>
12 minutes ago Saturday, April 21 2018 Apr 21, 2018 Saturday, April 21, 2018 8:40:09 AM CDT April 21, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY -- Firefighters responded to a structure fire in the 100 block of E. Ashley St. at 11:08 p.m.... More >>
2 hours ago Saturday, April 21 2018 Apr 21, 2018 Saturday, April 21, 2018 6:27:00 AM CDT April 21, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri legislators approved numerous changes Thursday to local elections, including allowing voters to request absentee ballots... More >>
3 hours ago Saturday, April 21 2018 Apr 21, 2018 Saturday, April 21, 2018 5:27:13 AM CDT April 21, 2018 in News
MILLER COUNTY - Casey Shoemate, a 26-year-old Miller County sheriff's deputy, died Friday night after colliding head-on with another vehicle... More >>
10 hours ago Friday, April 20 2018 Apr 20, 2018 Friday, April 20, 2018 10:05:00 PM CDT April 20, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA- Retailer Sears will close its Columbia Mall store this summer because the location has become unprofitable. Sears Director... More >>
12 hours ago Friday, April 20 2018 Apr 20, 2018 Friday, April 20, 2018 8:46:00 PM CDT April 20, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA- A local non-profit organization, Columbia Access Television, hosted a 24-hour film contest that started Friday at 5:30 pm. ... More >>
13 hours ago Friday, April 20 2018 Apr 20, 2018 Friday, April 20, 2018 7:13:00 PM CDT April 20, 2018 in News
LAKE OZARK - Community members are coming together to help a family who lost their children in a fire get... More >>
13 hours ago Friday, April 20 2018 Apr 20, 2018 Friday, April 20, 2018 7:10:00 PM CDT April 20, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – As more and more fraternities face misconduct charges across the nation, the Greek community of MU is looking... More >>
14 hours ago Friday, April 20 2018 Apr 20, 2018 Friday, April 20, 2018 6:13:00 PM CDT April 20, 2018 in News
ST. LOUIS - Gov. Eric Greitens is remaining defiant in the face of a new felony charge. On... More >>
15 hours ago Friday, April 20 2018 Apr 20, 2018 Friday, April 20, 2018 5:45:00 PM CDT April 20, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Children filled school gymnasiums across Columbia for the second day of the Unbound Book Festival. The festival showcases... More >>
17 hours ago Friday, April 20 2018 Apr 20, 2018 Friday, April 20, 2018 3:42:00 PM CDT April 20, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - April 20 marks the day of the Columbine school shooting, which claimed 13 lives. The Columbia Missouri... More >>
17 hours ago Friday, April 20 2018 Apr 20, 2018 Friday, April 20, 2018 3:26:00 PM CDT April 20, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - A potential fire station project on an annexed lot in southwest Columbia could lead to quicker response times... More >>
17 hours ago Friday, April 20 2018 Apr 20, 2018 Friday, April 20, 2018 3:21:00 PM CDT April 20, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - After the deadly fire in Lake Ozark, officials from the Division of Fire Safety are working to... More >>
17 hours ago Friday, April 20 2018 Apr 20, 2018 Friday, April 20, 2018 3:01:00 PM CDT April 20, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - For 13 years, Rhonda Harper has been at the helm of Lincoln University's "Marching Musical Storm." ... More >>
18 hours ago Friday, April 20 2018 Apr 20, 2018 Friday, April 20, 2018 2:26:00 PM CDT April 20, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - It’s been a little more than two months since the Stoneman Douglas school shooting in Parkland, Fla., and... More >>
18 hours ago Friday, April 20 2018 Apr 20, 2018 Friday, April 20, 2018 2:04:00 PM CDT April 20, 2018 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Authorities say a suburban St. Louis police officer fired at a would-be robber about four weeks... More >>
19 hours ago Friday, April 20 2018 Apr 20, 2018 Friday, April 20, 2018 1:35:11 PM CDT April 20, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Lab tests on an unknown substance sent to a Missouri lawmaker suggest it was pesticide.... More >>
19 hours ago Friday, April 20 2018 Apr 20, 2018 Friday, April 20, 2018 1:31:19 PM CDT April 20, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 47°
9am 55°
10am 59°
11am 60°
12pm 61°