Transportation officials want to regain the public’s trust. But they first have to win over the elected portion of the public. Missouri Department of Transportation Director Henry Hungerbeeler addressed a joint committee on oversight for transportation. He and the entire Highway Commission answered questions as lawmakers asked what MoDOT is doing to regain accountability, credibility, and the public’s trust. Hungerbeeler points out a recent audit that shows in 2002 the department completed more than 200 projects on time and on budget. Committee Chair Senator Morris Westfall points out that means the Department is accountable but not necessarily credible. And he says to regain that credibility, funding for highways must remain at 60 percent for rural areas and 40 percent for urban areas because that’s what was promised in the 1992 plan. About half of the lawmakers on the committee, inlcuding Westfall, won’t be in the legislature when it convenes it January. Hungerbeeler expects to make the case to the new lawmakers when they come in.
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