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MODOT Cuts Budget, Limits Focus - KOAM TV 7

MODOT Cuts Budget, Limits Focus

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JOPLIN, MISSOURI - MODOT plans to make significant budget cuts over the next two years which will limit their ability to maintain Missouri roads and bridges.  

In 2009 MODOT's budget was 1.3 billion dollars. This past year, the department cut back to $700-million. And in two years, the budget will be less than half that.

"Anything that adds a lane or adds capacity to the system, we can't hope to address," MODOT Asst. Disct. Engineer, Dan Salisbury, said.

MODOT will complete road or bridge projects already planned. But with a budget of $325-million in 2017 , officials say don't expect anything other than the minimum upkeep once cuts come through.

Under the new budget, MODOT reduces the amount of primary road it covers from more than 34-thousand miles of road down to just 8-thousand miles of road. Which doesn't include streets like Rangeline or Main st. in Joplin.

"We just won't do contracted work on those roads. And over time those roads will become rougher," Salisbury said.

All of this is caused by the state's inability to match federal funds.

"But we're not gonna be able to overcome losing federal funds," Salisbury said. "Because a dollar of state revenue leverages four dollars in federal revenue."

Missouri has tried to address budget shortfalls in the past.

"We tried for a sales tax increase for transportation and it was defeated. We tried for a gas tax increase. It was severely defeated," Salisbury said. "All we can do is communicate with Missourians, and hope that they understand and want action to be taken."

With MODOT no longer carrying out contracted construction on what it deems "supplementary roads", cities and counties will have to self-fund any expansions or additions.

And for the first time MODOT will require a maintenance fee, as well.  
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