Serving northeast missouri counties
July 29, 2020 Teleconference
Attended by NEMO RPC Executive Director Derek Weber, Transportation Planner Chris Feeney
MoDOT Update provided by director Patrick McKenna
1 The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) sent a letter to Congressional leadership on April 6 requesting the immediate emergency injection of $49.95 billion to offset an estimated 30 percent loss in state transportation revenues over the next 18 months.
2 House of Representatives Transportation & Infrastructure Committee passed its $494 billion surface transportation reauthorization bill on June 18 by a party-line vote of 35 to 25. Ranking Member Rep. Sam Graves, R-Mo., disagreed with what he called the “one-sided” construction of the bill labeling it the “My Way or the Highway Bill” questioning how it will be funded – noting “to pay for it with the gas tax, we’d have to double it at a time when so many Americans are struggling to make ends meet because of the pandemic.” Graves also noted that $2 out of every $5 spent by this bill – $200 billion in total – is tied up in trying to meet the goals of the Green New Deal. View all of his comments here.
3 America’s Transportation Infrastructure Act (ATIA) was introduced by Senate Environment and Public Works Committee (EPW) Chairman John Barrasso (R-WY), Ranking Member Tom Carper (D-DE), and Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee Chair and Ranking Member Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) and Ben Cardin (D-MD). ATIA passed the EPW committee unanimously on July 30, 2019. The bill authorizes $287 billion over five years, including $259 billion for formula programs to maintain and repair America’s roads and bridges. The total represents an increase of over 27 percent from FAST Act levels. Highway infrastructure authorizations expire on September 30, 2020.
4 Originally 20 projects were approved in December 2019 for a combined $50 million in funding through the Governor’s Cost-Share Program. MoDOT’s Cost-Share Committee, made up of MoDOT’s Chief Engineer, Chief Financial Officer, Assistant Chief Engineer, and two Director-appointed employees along with DED staff, reviewed 48 applications requesting more than $92 million to deliver $321 million in projects. The committee selected 20 applicants to receive the $50 million, which would have delivered $131 million in projects upon approval by the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission in January. NEMO PRC member Kirksville was originally approved for $955,294 for Business Route 63 improvements. In July 2020, funding was announced at a reduced level of $25 million, allocated to just nine projects, not including the Kirksville proposal.
5 Already projected by the Congressional Budget Office to be insolvent by the middle of 2021, The Highway Trust Fund (HTF) has an even worse outlook thanks to COVID-19. Published reports show that HTF saw a 79 percent drop in tax receipts in May compared to May 2019, as net deposits of tax receipts to the HTF dropped nearly $2.6 billion year-over-year in May. That was on the heels of reports that vehicle travel on roads and highways was down 40% in April. AASHTO says states are reporting multimillion-dollar revenue drops, and some have begun scaling back future road and bridge construction and repairs. Most states appear to be proceeding with projects already approved for 2020, and some have even been able to accelerate construction, but concerns are mounting for 2021 road and bridge work.