The Department of Transportation will soon consider applications for projects it would split the cost of with local governments.
The legislature and governor agreed to put $20-million in the state budget for the year that begins July 1 for MODOT to re-launch a cost-share program that was suspended two years ago. Under its new name, the Missouri Moves program will use that money to partner with local entities on transportation infrastructure projects.
Two-thirds of the 20-million will go to road and bridge work, with the rest to infrastructure supporting things like pedestrian and bicycle transportation.
The Highways and Transportation Commission at its meeting this week approved how that program will work, according to MODOT Director Patrick McKenna.
“[The commission] had directed the Department to look at a way to implement this in a way that would be objective and as fair as possible, and have some geographic spread to it as well,” McKenna told Missourinet.
MODOT outlined for the commission its criteria for how it will evaluate and rank projects submitted to it by local entities.
“Project readiness is a big part of it because we have to get these going, so to the extent that some have already gone through preliminary engineering or some of the environmental work that needs to be done to gauge whatever impacts the projects have,” said McKenna. “The ability of the community to bring forward matching funds is going to be a criterion as well. Safety is a high criteria that we’re very focused on – improving safety throughout the system, to the extent that we can engineer it, and those types of projects will probably score better.”
More details on those criteria will be released when MODOT begins taking applications for projects, which will be as early as June 15, and will run for 45 days.
McKenna says the department will try to move quickly with this program largely because it is subject to annual appropriations in the state budget.