MoDOT releases proposed project plan

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) draft 2013 to 2017 Statewide Transportation Improvement Program, which lists projects planned by state and regional agencies, is now available for public review.

The plan includes only one project for Barry County, a thin lift overlay on Highway 60. The anticipated award date for the project is 2016.

"MoDOT has reduced staff, facilities and equipment to direct as much funding as possible to roads and bridges, because we must deliver on our commitments to the state of Missouri," said Kevin Keith, MoDOT director.

"We are focused on keeping the transportation system in as good a condition as we can, for as long as we can, with the resources we have, keeping everyone safe and providing excellent customer service," said Keith. "But we can't cut our way to an improved transportation system."

In June of 2011, the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission adopted a plan proposed by MoDOT, which eliminated 1,200 jobs and was estimated to save $512 million.

The plan called for the closure of 135 facilities, including district offices in Macon, Joplin and Willard. The department also reduced the number of resident district engineer offices by closing the Carthage facility, moving the Neosho office to Joplin and eliminating the Jenkins, Appleton City, Rich Hill, Sarcoxie and Longview maintenance facilities.

As a result of the reductions, Missouri's construction project dropped from an average of $1.2 billion in recent years to about $700 million. All funds are now used to maintain state roadways, focusing on major highways first and completing maintenance on secondary roadways when funding allows.

The draft 2013 to 2017 Statewide Transportation Improvement Program can be viewed online at Interested individuals can also call MoDOT's customer service center at 1-888-275-6636 or visit a district or regional office.

After the formal comment period ends on June 1, feedback will be presented to the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission. The commission hopes to approve a plan at its meeting in Washington, D.C., on July 11.

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