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State approves $500 million for MoDOT

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The Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission on June 30 approved a $500 million construction program for the Missouri Department of Transportation for fiscal 2011 – roughly one-third the size of the department’s fiscal 2010 construction program.
Larger highway and bridge projects included in the budget include improvements to Highway 76 across Taney and Douglas counties, Highway 32 in Polk and Dallas counties and Highway 32 in Laclede County, according to www.modot.org.

“We’ve known this grim situation was coming,” Missouri Department of Transportation interim director Kevin Keith said in the release. “It’s as if we’ve fallen off a cliff.”

During the last five years, the MoDOT budget was helped along by a combination of Amendment 3 bonds and federal stimulus money, but an eventual cut was looming as the Amendment 3 bonds began expiring and state and federal funding were decreasing.

About $750 million per year had to be cut from its budget.

Contractors interested in bidding on MoDOT projects can visit www.modot.org/business.

Frank Miller, MoDOT’s District 8 planning manager, previously told Springfield Business Journal that plans for scaling back have been in the works and a shift in projects will be seen, from large projects such as the $60 million 60-65 interchange set for completion later this year to much smaller resurface-and-repair projects.
Those plans to cut back were initiated following a March 10 report to the highway commission by then-MoDOT Director Pete Rahn, when he told the commission the department would have to drastically cut costs while trying to maintain roads and bridges.

Rahn said at the time that MoDOT would cut 400 salaried positions to save about $203 million during the next five years due to declining state revenues, unauthorized federal funding, increases in health care and other employee benefits and the end of Amendment 3 bonds.

Rahn resigned as MoDOT director effective April 23.[[In-content Ad]]

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