No Money for MODOT
From Missouri Digital News: https://mdn.org
MDN Menu

MDN Home

Journalist's Creed

Print

MDN Help

MDN.ORG: Missouri Digital News
MDN Menu

MDN Home

Journalist's Creed

Print

MDN Help

MDN.ORG Mo. Digital News Missouri Digital News MDN.ORG: Mo. Digital News MDN.ORG: Missouri Digital News
Lobbyist Money Help  

No Money for MODOT

Date: December 17, 2008
By: Jack Cunningham
State Capitol Bureau

Intro: With a new legislative session approaching and low-state funding, the Missouri Department of Transportation has no way to fund future projects.  The Department, also known as MODOT, is putting Missourians in the driver's seat to choose a particular project. 

Jack Cunningham has more from the State Capitol.

RunTime:2:11
OutCue: SOC

MODOT Director Pete Rahn says Missouri highways are in terrible condition, and there is no solution in sight.

Missourians helped the situation in 2004 by voting for Amendment 3, which gave all the state's vehicle taxes to MODOT, but Rahn says they spent that money.

Now, MODOT is turning to the people for an answer.

 
Actuality:  PRAHN2.WAV
Run Time: 00:13
Description: So we put together this, this, process that said, alright, rather than having us say this is what we need, it was clear that we need to be talking to Missourians about what they need.

Rahn says they will be questioning Missourians for another 12 to 18 months before they decide which transportation project is most important.

MODOT's list of potential projects includes improving 802 of the state's lowest-rated bridges and repairing 56 hundred miles of state highway.

 
Actuality:  PRAHN3.WAV
Run Time: 00:13
Description: We continue to put overlays on them to try to keep the surface held together, but the reality is the road base underneath the top pavement is mush.
 
MODOT has already received some feedback, and spokesperson Sally Oxenhandler says roads aren't the only concern.
 
Actuality:  OXEN2.WAV
Run Time: 00:12
Description: There have been several comments about public transportation and a greater need for mass-transit opportunities, and opportunities other than cars to get around in this state.
 
Even though Oxenhandler says that's the case, MODOT's 2009 to 2013 improvement program designates 4.35 billion dollars to highways and bridges, and only 1.4 billion dollars to other transportation modes.
 
Rahn says this is the most current plan, but says nothing has been decided.
 
MODOT's projects involve adding lanes to certain highways, but highway patrolman Lieutenant John Hotz says that will not solve the entire problem.
Actuality:  HOTZ2.WAV
Run Time: 00:14
Description: In some areas, like in the Kansas City Area, it seemed like when you went from two lanes to three lanes, it seemed like a lot of vehicles started traveling at higher speeds.  So you had more lanes of traffic available, but you had more vehicles that were traveling at higher speeds.
 
Rahn says MODOT is not concerned with funding these projects, because they are yet to determine which project Missouri wants.
 
Reporting from Jefferson City, I'm Jack Cunningham.
 
Intro: Missouri Department of Transportation Director says Missourians are in charge of planning the next transportation project.

Jack Cunningham has more from the State Capitol.

RunTime:0:41
OutCue: SOC

Director Pete Rahn says MODOT's funds are running low and they do not have enough money for their projects so they are turning to Missourians to decide which project is most important. 

Rahn says I-44 and I-70 need repairs, but the combined cost exceeds 7 billion dollars.

 
Actuality:  PRAHN4.WAV
Run Time: 00:14
Description: They're critical arteries to the economy of our state.  And they were built 50 years ago. The roadways themselves are essentially used up.

Former St. Louis Democratic Senator Joan Bray served on the Senate Transportation Committee and says this is another dismal report from MODOT.

Reporting from Jefferson City, I'm Jack Cunningham.


Intro: MODOT officials say highway construction and high accident rates go hand in hand this holiday season.

Jack Cunningham has more from the State Capitol.

RunTime:0:42
OutCue: SOC

MODOT just began the second year of a two-year renovation of I-64 in Saint Louis.

MODOT Director Pete Rahn says I-44 experienced an increase in traffic accidents while I-64 was closed this year.

Rahn says there have been no fatal accidents.

 
 
Actuality:  PRAHN5.WAV
Run Time: 00:09
Description: The incidents of accidents has increased, but so has traffic.  So those two correlate.  The more traffic you have, the more accidents you're going to have.
 
MODOT added another lane, to alleviate traffic, by decreasing the size of each lane.
 
Highway Patrolman Lieutenant John Hotz says adding a lane helps, but it encourages drivers to drive faster.
 
Hotz says higher speeds increase the chance of accidents.
 
Reporting from Jefferson City, I'm Jack Cunningham.
Intro: After meeting with MODOT, Missouri State Senators say Missouri has a bumpy ride ahead.

Jack Cunningham has more from the State Capitol.

RunTime:0:40
OutCue: SOC

Before the legislative session begins in January, MODOT officials met with the Senate Transportation Committee to discuss their plan.

Napton Republican Senator Bill Stouffer heads the committee and says road maintenance will decrease if MODOT's revenues continue to decrease.

 
Actuality:  STOUFFR2.WAV
Run Time: 00:12
Description: MODOT is running like 2nd or 3rd lowest in administrative costs in the nation. So there's not a lot of fat to squeeze out of the administrative costs.

Former St. Louis Democratic Senator Joan Bray says MODOT should consider other modes of transportation, like Amtrak, because not everyone has a car.

Reporting from Jefferson City, I'm Jack Cunningham.