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Highway Commission recieves Blue Ribbon report

November 4, 2003
By: Aidian Holder
State Capital Bureau

It's official . . . after more than eight months of work MODOT's independent blue ribbon panel has submitted its report to the state transportation commission. As Aidian Holder reports, the report says MODOT's biggest problem is a credibility gap.

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The panel's long awaited report says the state hasn't provided MODOT with the resources needed to maintain Missouri roads. But it says that without major changes, MODOT doesn't have the credibility to ask for more money.

A major issue for the panel was MODOT's decision to abandon a plan it adopted in 1992 that layed out new construction plans for the next 15 years. After recieving a gas tax increase to pay for the plan, MODOT decided the money wasn't enough to fund the plan and abandoned it in 1998.

The report says that this decision is at the heart of voter anger with MODOT and, without explaining its decision to abandon the plan, MODOT can't expect to recieve the public support it needs to ask for more money.

Barry Orscheln, chairman of the state transportation commission, defends MODOT's decision even in the face of the panel's criticism.

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Contents: Orscheln contends that the 1992 plan was underfunded from the start.

From the state capitol, I'm Aidian Holder.