MoDOT Gets a New Director
Recently, the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) named Patrick McKenna as its new director. The previous director, Dave Nichols, stepped down earlier this year, and Roberta Broeker had been acting as director on an interim basis.
Mr. Mckenna, currently deputy commissioner of the New Hampshire Department of Transportation, will take over MoDOT at a difficult time. While the department will not fall off a fiscal cliff next year (as was once feared), there is little doubt that MoDOT’s financial position is precarious. Worse yet, there are no funds available for large but necessary highway improvements like the rebuilding of I-70.
While the problems are challenging, there are solutions available to Missouri that will not require large general tax hikes. For instance, if Mr. McKenna were to drive from the New Hampshire Department of transportation in Concord to MoDOT’s headquarters in Jefferson City, the fastest route would take him through six states with open-road tolling:
Tolls are just one of MoDOT's options for financing I-70 reconstruction and other expensive infrastructure projects, and the success Missouri’s neighbors (and New Hampshire) have had with this method of funding should encourage Mr. Mckenna to consider it.