User Login    
 + Register
News : Missouri Highways And Transportation Commission To Stop Adding Projects
Posted by Randy on 2014/1/27 7:37:05 (304 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
2015/4/22 10:41:35 - Young Family Trusts To Benefit NCMC Students
2015/4/22 10:01:35 - Herrera Suspended, Ventura Fined For Throwing At Lawrie
2015/4/22 9:50:00 - Plattsburg Girls, Trenton Boys Win Team Titles At TMS Relays
2015/4/22 8:34:10 - Hog Farm Dispute Brings Large Audience To Grundy County Courthouse
2015/4/22 8:30:00 - Chillicothe Boys Win Cameron Relays, Trenton Girls Finish Third
2015/4/22 8:28:38 - Hornets Sweep Bulldogs In Varsity Tennis
2015/4/22 8:20:18 - Trenton Golfers Beat Chillicothe In Tuesday Duel
2015/4/22 8:12:56 - Applications Being Sought For Livestock-Related Honor
2015/4/22 8:02:57 - Route A, In Southwest Mercer County, To Close On Thursday
2015/4/22 7:54:05 - Highway Patrol Sergeant Recognized For Life-Saving Efforts During September Flooding
2015/4/22 7:44:27 - Oklahoma Rape Suspect Arrested Along I-35 In Northwest Missouri
2015/4/22 7:38:43 - University Of Missouri Receives Bomb Threat, "All Clear" Issued
2015/4/22 7:33:15 - Maryville Teen Passes Away After Monday Night Wreck
2015/4/22 7:30:00 - Maysville Woman Dies In Gentry County Accident
2015/4/21 18:08:10 - Mizzou Adds Illinois JUCO Duo To 2015-2016 Hoops Roster
2015/4/21 18:03:06 - NCMC Swept In Baseball Double-Dip At Crowder
2015/4/21 17:55:16 - Trenton's Croy Challenges Strong Helias Squad At Macon Tournament
2015/4/21 17:50:06 - LeBlond Dominates Tennis Duel At Trenton
2015/4/21 17:50:00 - NCMC Softball Seeded #4 In Region 16 Tournament
2015/4/21 9:50:00 - TMS Boys Win Brookfield Relays
2015/4/21 9:40:00 - Trenton's "City-Wide Garage Sales" Coming Saturday
2015/4/21 9:30:00 - Animal Feeding Operation Proposed In Rural Grundy County
2015/4/21 9:29:09 - New Date Set For Grundy County Murder Trial
2015/4/21 9:20:00 - Putnam County Accident Injures Lucerne Man
2015/4/21 9:13:30 - Gallatin Native Ties Masters Champion In PGA Event
2015/4/21 9:10:00 - Linn County Accident Sends Two To Columbia Hospital
2015/4/21 9:07:09 - Webb City Offensive Lineman Verbals To Mizzou
2015/4/21 8:15:57 - Royals Recall Calixte From Omaha, Demote Fuentes
2015/4/20 14:00:57 - Chillicothe Police Arrest Man On Marijuana Possession Charges
2015/4/20 11:29:17 - Speed Limit For U.S. 65 In Trenton Drops To 45 MPH



Bookmark this article at these sites

                   

Listen to KTTN-FM