Budget Crisis Impacts the Moving and Storage Industry
The Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission has signed off on a five-year construction plan that is roughly half the size it was in past years. State officials said Wednesday that they plan to spend about $600 million a year on road construction through June 30, 2016, instead of the prior average of $1.2 billion.
Cord Moving and Storage headquartered in Saint Louis, MO reports that because of the reduced budget, Missouri Department of Transportation Director Kevin Keith said his agency will have to focus mostly on maintaining the roads and bridges it already has and kick off very few new expansion projects. “We’ve known this grim situation was coming,” Keith said in a statement. “We have fallen off a cliff.” Keith warned that state investments in its highway network are at risk and, without additional money, Missouri soon could lose millions in federal matching funds because it won’t be able to meet requirements for matching dollars. He said his department’s efforts to keep internal costs low only can go so far.
“These cost savings are just a temporary fix — they do not solve our funding situation in the long term,” he said. “There are consequences to operating with insufficient funds. It means the department will not be able to address economic development opportunities, deliver corridor improvements or replace major bridges.” The budget cutbacks, reflecting a statewide revenue malaise, also resulted in over 1,000 layoffs at MoDOT all of which will impact all travelers but most assuredly the trucking industry.