Transportation Planner Meeting August 25, 2020 Teleconference

MoDOT Update – deputy director Ed Hassinger

Financial Update

  • Fiscal year ended in July, with MoDOT projecting $37 million deficit to date
  • Fuel tax data (lags 2 months behind so report was for end of May) – Gas tax projections down 10-15%
  • Sales tax on vehicles was REALLY good, which more than made up for fuel tax deficit
  • License fees collections was also up
  • For the recording period, total revenue was actually up $10 million
  • Revenue losses related to lower fuel sales are looking likely to be a long-term issue/concern
  • Vehicle sales tax spike, likely a blip, related to financing incentives, great deals, etc.

COVID-19 Update

  • With the improved financial outlook, MoDOT has removed the hiring freeze and opened up recruitment for snow removal teams
  • MoDOT is moving forward with August project lettings
  • There is a high confidence level that August, September and October will move forward as originally planned pre-COVID
  • Planned projects previously delayed are now back in the letting schedule

Federal Transportation Bill 1

  • As the federal transportation bill expires in September and no clear replacement available, planning becomes difficult beyond that timeframe
  • MoDOT anticipating 30- to 60-day extensions, but no clear-cut resolution until after November elections and likely well into 2021.
  • Expiring FAST ACT transportation bill had provided five years of certainty for federal funding – crucial to planning process
  • The lack of a new transportation bill likely will impact MoDOT’s Nov., Dec., Jan., lettings, all of which are in the $100 million ballpark
  • Without federal funding certainty/ a new transportation bill, planning will be month to month, which will impact the future of the STIP

State Transportation Improvement Plan (STIP)

  • Expecting a new/updated financial forecast in January when hopefully MoDOT will be able to move forward with updating the STIP
  • All projects let last year have been delivered, with the biggest package since 2010, $120-$130 million more than last year
  • Buck O’Neil Bridge 2 moving forward thanks to partnership with Kansas City and MARC, LPA funds
  • Rocheport I-70 bridge 3 will be decided soon, likely it will be moving forward as well with one more good moth of revenue reports

Q & A

NEMO RPC – FARM Bridge program update

  • The FARM bridge project is getting off the ground, with MODOT establishing goals for the design/build bid process. Will know more in the next few months of which bridges will be built and which will be back into planning due to shortfall in grant funding

Focus on Bridges

  • A status request was made on the program
  • Dep. Director Hassinger said the program is beginning to move forward with roughly 100 bridges under contract already
  • The bonding for the program was supposed to free up $350 million of MoDOT funding to go into a bucket entitled “Governor’s Backfill Money” to be used for unfunded needs such as raising the road at Alexandria and the Highway 61 overpass at Troy in our district.
  • It is expected that all of the revenue shortfalls statewide will be taken from this bucket.

1 Missouri’s transportation revenue totaled approximately $2.5 billion in 2019. Roughly two-thirds came from fuel tax and other user fees ($1.559 billion) with one-third from federal funding ($960 million) and just $18 million from Missouri general revenue. In FY 2019 Missouri received $778 million federal reimbursement for state highway improvements and $104 million for cities and counties as well as $59 million for multimodal projects and $19 million in highway safety grants to improve roadway safety.

2 The John Jordan “Buck” O’Neil Memorial Bridge (formerly the Broadway Bridge), is a triple arch bridge carrying U.S. 169 over the Missouri River serving as a key regional connection between downtown Kansas City and communities north of the river. While safe, the bridge is nearing the end of its projected lifespan. Opened in 1956, the bridge recently celebrated its 60th year of operation.  Since that time, the neighborhoods and communities on both sides of the bridge have changed significantly and now nearly 50,000 vehicles use the bridge daily.

3 The new Rocheport Bridge will replace an existing 60-year-old 3,000-foot truss-and-beam fracture critical facility that is near the end of its service life. Built in 1960, the Rocheport Bridge is currently rated in poor condition. It carries 12.5 million vehicles per year, including 3.6 million trucks. A new 3,000-foot bridge will enable vehicles on I-70 to continue to pass over the Missouri River, its floodplain, Katy Trail, and the Overton Bottoms Conservation Area. The new Rocheport Bridge will be built to accommodate six lanes between Kansas City and St. Louis. The bridge and related improvements are expected to have a $260 million price tag. The project is funded in part by an $81 million federal grant that triggered $301 million in state bonding to fund the Focus on Bridge program set to repair or replace 215 of the state’s worst bridges.