User Login    
 + Register
News : Missouri Highways And Transportation Commission To Stop Adding Projects
Posted by Randy on 2014/1/27 7:37:05 (245 reads) News by the same author

JEFFERSON CITY – Uncertainty about future federal funding, declining fuel tax proceeds and increasing costs of doing business have spurred the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission to stop adding new projects to its five-year construction budget and to suspend its popular Cost-Share Program. The MHTC voted to do so at its January 8 meeting.
Click to see original Image in a new window

MHTC Chairman Joe Carmichael, Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) Director Dave Nichols and MoDOT Chief Engineer Ed Hassinger discussed the foreboding financial future at today’s annual Missouri Transportation Conference in Jefferson City, co-sponsored by the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Farm Bureau, the Missouri State Highway Patrol and MoDOT.

“Believe me when I say this is not what we wanted to do,” Carmichael said. “But when considering the financial forecast for the rest of this decade, we had no choice. We aren’t even going to have enough money to maintain the system we have today.”

The reasons for the funding downturn are many. Fuel tax revenues have become a diminishing revenue stream as cars become more fuel efficient and as people drive less, while the costs of doing business are increasing. Inflation has decreased MoDOT’s purchasing power by more than 50 percent. What was 17 cents (state fuel tax per gallon) of purchasing power in 1992, the last time fuel taxes were increased, is now about eight cents and decreasing each year.

The cost of asphalt, concrete and steel – the staples of the industry – are as much as 200 percent more than they were in 1992. And employee healthcare and retirement costs have also steadily risen.

The looming insolvency of the Federal Highway Trust Fund – expected in the fall – is a big reason, too.

MoDOT projects its annual construction program – which just a few years ago was $1.3 billion – will be just over $700 million in 2015, before dropping to $325 million per year from 2017 through 2019. Nichols said the baseline annual amount required to keep the statewide system of roads and bridges in the condition it is today is $485 million.
“When we fall below that number,” Nichols said, “it is obvious that our system is going to begin to deteriorate.

Carmichael said the Commission opted to take this action now, rather than wait, because this is the time of year when MoDOT and its local planning partners begin to prioritize future projects in order to add an additional year to the five-year Statewide Transportation Improvement Program.
“It makes no sense to be adding projects that eventually increase our maintenance responsibility when we won’t be able to maintain what we have today,” Carmichael said. He emphasized, however, that projects already in the STIP are the Commission’s commitment to Missouri taxpayers, and they will be delivered. “We may have to delay some a year, but they will be constructed,” Carmichael said.

Nichols noted this is not a federal or a state problem, “It’s both,” he said. “In 2020, we won’t have enough state revenue to be able to match federal funds. That means those unmatched dollars will be directed to other states and lost to Missouri forever. If our federal funds would increase, we’ll be unable to match them even sooner.”

“I’d call it a ‘crisis of progress,’” Carmichael said. “In the last decade, MoDOT made great progress and demonstrated the kinds of improvements it could deliver with resources. But continued progress in delivering system safety improvements and the types of projects that stimulate the economy and create jobs is coming to a halt in the near future.”

Nichols said MoDOT has taken dramatic steps to reduce costs and form a leaner, more efficient agency. “We’ve reduced staff by 1,200, closed facilities and reduced the size of our fleet. Those actions have saved $500 million. But we can’t cut our way to a solution for this transportation funding problem.

“We’ve done a lot of great things in the last 10 years to make our roads safer, to bring innovation to our projects, and to deliver some really big initiatives. But without a solution, we can’t do any more going forward.”

Printer Friendly Page Send this Story to a Friend Create a PDF from the article


Other articles
2014/10/24 4:42:51 - 5 Ways To Tell If Someone Is Cheating On You
2014/10/24 4:29:07 - Six Bodies Identified After Decades In Oklahoma Lake
2014/10/24 4:24:30 - Peyton Manning Rips Broncos' Scoreboard Operator
2014/10/24 4:20:18 - How To Teach Kids To Be Nice Online
2014/10/24 4:14:12 - Police: Missouri Inmate Who Attempted Suicide Dies
2014/10/24 4:09:40 - 1 Taken To Hospital After Being Hit By Train
2014/10/24 4:05:48 - 8-Year Old Scores Touchdown, Team Fined $500, Coach Suspended
2014/10/23 10:42:45 - Disaster Declaration Requested For North Missouri Counties
2014/10/23 10:38:01 - THS Marching Band And Color Guard To Hold Recognition Program
2014/10/23 10:35:23 - Snow Removal Bids Sought
2014/10/23 6:38:04 - Trenton Chamber Ambassadors To Hold Annual Halloween Trick Or Treat Night
2014/10/23 6:30:41 - Chillicothe Firefighters Respond To Vehicle Fire
2014/10/23 6:26:35 - Meadville Teen Hurt In Accident East Of Laredo
2014/10/23 6:23:59 - Spickard Man Injured In Accident East Of Gallatin
2014/10/23 4:46:44 - Giant Gold Nugget To Be Sold In San Francisco
2014/10/23 4:30:00 - The Worst Things To Buy At Walmart
2014/10/23 4:17:35 - Iowa Man Pleads Guilty To Missouri Bank Robbery
2014/10/23 4:09:49 - UK Man Faked Coma For 2 Years To Avoid Court
2014/10/23 4:04:17 - Wife Of Wade Davis Forks Over World Series Tickets As Tip To Server
2014/10/23 4:00:50 - FBI Confiscates Hot-Selling Royals Panties
2014/10/22 6:42:06 - Missouri Livestock Symposium To Be Held In Kirksville December 5th
2014/10/22 4:52:49 - Dead Babies In Winnipeg Storage Unit 'Tragic Beyond Belief'
2014/10/22 4:43:12 - Two Sunken Vessels From World War II Were Just Found Off The North Carolina Coast
2014/10/22 4:34:36 - Partial Solar Eclipse to Darken US Skies Thursday
2014/10/22 4:26:06 - Homeless Man Victim Of Knock-Out Game Attack
2014/10/22 4:23:10 - Missouri Officer Charged In $37,000 Theft
2014/10/22 4:19:06 - Man Arrested For Rape At Hospital Where Victim Being Treated
2014/10/22 4:10:43 - Trenton Resident Arrested On Probation Violation Charge
2014/10/22 4:00:45 - Area Students To Receive American FFA Degree
2014/10/22 3:54:25 - Missouri Community Betterment Awards Presented At Banquet



Bookmark this article at these sites

                   

Listen to KTTN-FM