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Transportation commissioners to consider MoDOT restructuring plan

(Via Flickr/ KOMUnews, Manu Bhandari)

The Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission meets tomorrow to consider a proposal to restructure the Missouri Department of Transportation(MoDOT) over the next five years.   

The controversial plan calls for laying off 1,200 MoDOT workers, closing 135 facilities and selling off 740 pieces of equipment.

Director Kevin Keith says if approved, the restructuring would free up $117 million a year for maintaining roads and bridges:

“Quite frankly, we can’t afford to keep doing what (we've been doing)," Keith said.  "It will be different, but...organized this way, (and) we’ll still be able to provide good services to the citizens of Missouri, just not the same (level of) service.”

Keith says the proposed downsizing won’t hurt the agency’s effectiveness.

“In some ways it’ll help us be more effective," Keith said.  "But I don’t want to mislead anyone…we’re going to have 1,200 less people, we’re going to be operating (with) less facilities, and we’re planning, with less signing, striping (and) less mowing, to start reducing some services.”

Keith says if commissioners reject the plan, MoDOT officials will regroup and draft another proposal.

Transportation commissioners are expected to vote on the proposal Wednesday afternoon, but could also choose to delay action until a later date.

Marshal was a political reporter for St. Louis Public Radio until 2018.