The Missouri Department of Transportation is unveiling the details of its “Bolder Five-Year Direction” in the coming days at community briefings across the state. Meetings were held yesterday in Monticello and Kahoka; another was scheduled early this morning in Edina, and others are scheduled next week in Monroe City, Bowling Green and Shelbina. Click here for the details on where those briefings will be held (opens in Microsoft Excel).
The details, in short: MoDOT will cut 1,200 jobs (including the 340 it has already cut in the past year), drop more than 740 pieces of equipment and close 135 facilities, including three district offices and 111 maintenance sheds. These moves are expected to save $500 million. The agency has said its current $1.2 billion program scope will contract to $600 million in the face of uncertain state and federal funding; the term “funding cliff” has long been used.
MoDOT’s very helpful Bolder Five-Year Direction page includes current and proposed maps of the agency’s districts and facilities. For comparison’s sake, I drew up a map overlaying the new district boundaries over the current boundaries and noting the facilities closing in the Northeast District. The current boundaries are in black/gray, the new ones in red. (Click to enlarge.)
As you can see, District 3 — the Northeast District — will keep its Hannibal headquarters but will nearly double in size as it absorbs most of District 2, whose Macon district office will close. The Northeast District will lose two counties to the St. Louis District and one to the Central District, headquartered in Jefferson City.
The new district will lose a total of 15 maintenance sheds, including 10 within the current district’s boundaries. Within the nine Missouri counties The Herald-Whig typically covers, the following maintenance sheds will close (denoted on the map by a black X and listed down the side in my chicken scratch):
• Monroe City (Marion)
• Monticello (Lewis)
• LaBelle (Lewis)
• Luray (Clark)
• Novelty (Knox)
• Frankford (Pike)
• Louisiana (Pike)
• Eolia (Pike)
• Shelbyville (Shelby)
Other sheds closing in the proposed district include one in Audrain County at the district’s southern edge and a total of five in Macon, Linn and Sullivan counties to the west. This leaves each county in the entire district (except Marion) with one shed.
It’s unclear how the maintenance shed closings will affect jobs in each county, but at yesterday’s Lewis County meeting. District Engineer Paula Gough said it’s “reasonable to assume,” for example, that all Monticello and LaBelle employees will be eligible for transfer to the Canton shed (unless they’d prefer to be transferred to a different county because of where they live or other considerations).
Assuming the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission approves the new five-year plan at its next meeting June 8, all of the facility closings and staffing and equipment cuts will be implemented by Dec. 31, 2012, Gough said Thursday.