MoDOT Closing Macon Office, Cutting 1,200 Positions

7 years 7 months 6 days ago Wednesday, May 04 2011 May 4, 2011 Wednesday, May 04, 2011 10:34:00 AM CDT May 04, 2011 in News
By: Theo Keith

JEFFERSON CITY — State Transportation Department leaders, facing a more serious funding crisis than originally thought, said Wednesday they will respond by slashing more positions, closing district offices and selling hundreds of pieces of equipment.

The department will eliminate 1,200 positions through attrition and transfers, but layoffs are a last step, MoDOT said in a news release. If the plan gets approval from the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission, MoDOT will shutter offices in Macon, Joplin and Willow Springs, and will cut its equipment inventory by 740 pieces. The cuts are expected to save $512 million over five years that will go to maintaining the state's roads and bridges.

The new plan comes as MoDOT leaders say the department's construction budget will shrink to $600 million from $1.2 billion over five years. The cuts are necessary in the face of a "transportation funding crisis," Director Kevin Keith said.

""We don't like having to do this, and we aren't proposing these changes lightly, because we know they will be personal and painful for many people, but heading in this direction is the right thing to do. It's what we have to do to survive," Keith said. "Without these actions, Missouri would lose millions of dollars in federal funds for transportation."

Last year, MoDOT announced a less severe cost-reduction plan, that included eliminating 400 positions and focusing its efforts on simply maintaining the state's current infrastructure. State bond money is running out, gas tax revenue is faltering as Missourians drive more fuel-efficient cars, and federal funding is at risk. Upon reassessing the budget, last year's cuts weren't enough, Keith said.

The cost-savings plan is a natural response to the funding crisis, said Bill McKenna, a spokesman for the Missouri Transportation Alliance, an organization that advocates for increased funding for infrastructure projects.

"Our state's transportation infrastructure will quickly fall short of Missourians' expectations," McKenna said. "The cuts highlight the urgent need to resolve Missouri's transportation funding shortfall."

Pete Rahn, MoDOT's former director, advocated for toll roads and a state sales tax dedicated to transportation before he left his job last April. Rahn, who took a job with Kansas City-based engineering firm HNTB, oversaw a large increasing in spending on roads and bridges — including MoDOT's ongoing "Safe and Sound" program to repair 800 bridges across the state.

Keith replaced Rahn, first as interim director before taking the position permenantly last fall. At that time, he did not name a specific funding source he wanted to see tapped to increase MoDOT's budget.

More News

Grid
List
OSAGE BEACH – A dog groomer in Osage Beach has made it a mission to train service dogs after she... More >>
27 minutes ago Sunday, December 09 2018 Dec 9, 2018 Sunday, December 09, 2018 2:08:00 PM CST December 09, 2018 in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — University of Missouri faculty members are raising concerns that the system's move to offer buyouts to... More >>
2 hours ago Sunday, December 09 2018 Dec 9, 2018 Sunday, December 09, 2018 11:47:00 AM CST December 09, 2018 in News
CALLAWAY COUNTY - A Kansas City woman was arrested Saturday and charged with multiple felony counts of possession of a... More >>
7 hours ago Sunday, December 09 2018 Dec 9, 2018 Sunday, December 09, 2018 7:30:00 AM CST December 09, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - All weekend the Central Missouri Humane Society is encouraging people to come adopt animals. The humane society has... More >>
17 hours ago Saturday, December 08 2018 Dec 8, 2018 Saturday, December 08, 2018 9:35:00 PM CST December 08, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Down Syndrome Guild of Central Missouri had its first learning seminar in Columbia on Saturday. The seminar... More >>
17 hours ago Saturday, December 08 2018 Dec 8, 2018 Saturday, December 08, 2018 9:33:00 PM CST December 08, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia teen who was killed in a crash Saturday morning was a senior at Christian Fellowship School,... More >>
17 hours ago Saturday, December 08 2018 Dec 8, 2018 Saturday, December 08, 2018 8:55:00 PM CST December 08, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Karis Church in northwest Columbia held its third annual Affordable Christmas event early Saturday morning. This is... More >>
19 hours ago Saturday, December 08 2018 Dec 8, 2018 Saturday, December 08, 2018 6:40:00 PM CST December 08, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- White House chief of staff John Kelly will be leaving his position at the end of the year,... More >>
23 hours ago Saturday, December 08 2018 Dec 8, 2018 Saturday, December 08, 2018 2:56:00 PM CST December 08, 2018 in News
CAMDEN COUNTY - A Camden County Sheriff's deputy was involved in a car crash Friday on Route MM near Villages... More >>
23 hours ago Saturday, December 08 2018 Dec 8, 2018 Saturday, December 08, 2018 2:47:00 PM CST December 08, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Only one person was injured after two overnight fires kept fire crews busy into the weekend. ... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, December 08 2018 Dec 8, 2018 Saturday, December 08, 2018 8:33:00 AM CST December 08, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Runners and walkers dressed up in holiday wear for the annual Jingle Bell Run in Columbia on Saturday,... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, December 08 2018 Dec 8, 2018 Saturday, December 08, 2018 7:43:00 AM CST December 08, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - A formerly homeless veteran is helping other vets expand their horizons by cycling. Tyler Kempker leads a... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 07 2018 Dec 7, 2018 Friday, December 07, 2018 8:53:00 PM CST December 07, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Despite smoke-free laws and the increasing popularity of e-cigarettes, a large number of Americans are being exposed to... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 07 2018 Dec 7, 2018 Friday, December 07, 2018 6:56:00 PM CST December 07, 2018 in News
URANUS, Mo. (AP) — The Uranus Examiner, a small Missouri newspaper whose name inspired chuckles and groans when it... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 07 2018 Dec 7, 2018 Friday, December 07, 2018 6:33:20 PM CST December 07, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Gov. Mike Parson held a conference Friday afternoon discussing what needs to be done to fix abuse... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 07 2018 Dec 7, 2018 Friday, December 07, 2018 3:43:00 PM CST December 07, 2018 in News
SEDALIA - A new daycare is trying to open up for business, but it’s right next to a nursing home... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 07 2018 Dec 7, 2018 Friday, December 07, 2018 3:17:00 PM CST December 07, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA- High school football teams from around the state will travel to Memorial Stadium for the next five years to... More >>
2 days ago Friday, December 07 2018 Dec 7, 2018 Friday, December 07, 2018 2:15:00 PM CST December 07, 2018 in Sports
KANSAS CITY - President Trump spoke about changes to Project Safe Neighborhoods in Kansas City on Friday. He praised... More >>
2 days ago Friday, December 07 2018 Dec 7, 2018 Friday, December 07, 2018 1:07:00 PM CST December 07, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 36°
3pm 36°
4pm 34°
5pm 31°
6pm 29°