Transportation Advisory CommitteeMeeting Minutes
4:00 p.m., February 9, 2012
Leo Sanders (Crawford), Gary Brown (Dent), Donald Dodd (Dent), Darrell Skiles (Dent), Richard Huse (Maries), James Kleffner (Maries), Dave Dudenhoeffer (Osage), Elmer Senevey (Osage), Candace Connell (Phelps), Larry Stratman (Phelps), Bruce Harrill (Pulaski), Cecil Penland (Pulaski), John Casey (Washington) and Thomas R Dudley (Washington).
Doug Britton (Crawford), Robert Schaffer (Crawford), John Kamler (Gasconade), Ron Jost (Gasconade), John Tracy (Gasconade), Greg Stratman (Maries), John Butz (Phelps), George Sanders (Pulaski) and Todd Moyers (Washington).
MoDOT, Alternates, Ex-Officio Members Present:
John Petersen (Phelps-Alt), Preston Kramer (Area Engineer - MoDOT), Steve Engelbrecht (Central District Planning Manager – MoDOT), Josh Kincaid (Assistant Area Engineer – MoDOT), Dion Knipp (Central District Planning MoDOT - BRO and SRTS), Jennifer Jones (Central District Planning MoDOT – BRO and SRTS) and Travis Koestner (Central District MoDOT – District Engineer).
Norm Herren (Pulaski) and Randy Verkamp (Phelps)
Lucia Flaim, Kathleen Nahm, Bonnie Prigge, Tammy Snodgrass, Lisa Warnke and Connie Willman.
Call to Order & Welcome:
Donald Dodd, chairman, called the February 9, 2012, Transportation Advisory Committee (TAC) meeting to order at 4:03 p.m. Chairman Dodd asked the MoDOT representatives to introduce themselves to the board.
Approval of December 8, 2011, TAC Minutes:
Donald Dodd, chairman, presented the December 8, 2011, TAC minutes for board approval.
Gary Brown made a motion to approve the December 8, 2011, Transportation Advisory Committee meeting minutes as presented. James Kleffner seconded the motion. Motion passed.
MoDOT Bolder Five Year Plan:
Travis Koestner (Central District MoDOT – District Engineer) shared the latest developments at MoDOT with the Bolder Five Year Plan. Mr. Koestner stated that MoDOT is currently working on the personnel movement and reduction as well as the equipment reduction that was detailed in the plan. MoDOT personnel are currently being required to apply for their current positions or positions that have become available through natural attrition. MoDOT staff will be going to a fleet meeting February 10, 2012 to determine which vehicles and equipment they will be selling. Plans are to liquidate approximately 750 vehicles of all types and sizes, including heavy equipment and passenger vehicles. Counties and cities will have first chance to purchase the vehicles. MoDOT will send out information around the end of March. MoDOT staff are also working on the closing of the buildings as described in the plan – employees at these locations had options to move to other facilities.
TAC members asked about the possibility of turning I-70 into a toll road. Travis stated that environmental and federal approval is needed to make I-70 into a toll road and that there are estimates on what it would cost the state. He stated that it would save MoDOT $70-$90 million that is spent annually on I-70 maintenance. The decision depends on the funding availability and what state legislators decide. TAC Members asked if there was information on the economic impact. Travis explained that that information has not been finalized at this time but they do know that there would be an approximate ten percent decline of traffic on I-70 if it is made a toll road. According to Mr. Koestner, truck lanes are still being considered.
Mr. Koestner stated that MoDOT hosted a meeting in mid-January to talk about priorities and needs. There are still funds available for taking care of the systems. Bonnie asked if there would be another meeting to discuss the needs in Central District since the other RPCs did not have their needs prepared for the meeting. Bonnie suggested that it would be beneficial to discuss the needs as a group so that there is a better understanding of all the needs across the district. Steve Englebrecht said that he will try to set up a meeting for mid-March with the other RPCs to discuss needs.
Steve Englebrecht informed the board members that there will be a Statewide Planning meeting on February 23, 2012. Steve said that at this time there is no funding for expansion work. Discussion will be on what projects to work toward in case funding does become available. Topic for the meeting will be “Funding: Where Are We, and Where Are We Heading.”
Bonnie asked about the Reauthorization Legislation regarding Enhancements and Safe Routes to School programs and if there will still be funding. Dion Knipp (Central District Planning MoDOT - BRO and SRTS) stated that the states are to decide regarding funding and that originally BRO was repealed but MoDOT is not sure that won’t be rescinded under a different format /or wording and that BRO will be rolled back in to the STP. Dion said that MoDOT personnel are looking into the language of the 855 page document. Basically, the language stated that the states will be awarded the pot of money and they are to decide how the money will be spent. It appears that there will be five pots of money, with money still being available for deficient road or bridge projects. There may actually be more funding available – but MoDOT will know more by the February 23, 2012 meeting. Dion encouraged the TAC members to contact their legislators regarding concerns about available transportation funding.
Norm Herren asked about the pretreatment for the winter roads. Preston said that road crews are still maintaining the state roads for slick winter conditions. Road crews are still doing typical road maintenance as well and with the warm winter weather they have been working on some projects that they normally can’t do until summer.
Safe and Sound Bridges:
Preston Kramer, MoDOT, updated the TAC on the Safe and Sound Bridge project.
James Kleffner asked about the Meta projects. Preston said that a public meeting was held for the Meta projects. If both projects are done at the same time (hill and bridge) that it would close a local business. He said that they can’t disable businesses and shut down both roads to make the repairs even though that would be the quickest way to make the repairs. They will be doing the Meta Hill in late summer or early fall depending on when the bridge is completed and the bid selection completed.
Preston demonstrated to the TAC members how the Safe and Sound bridges website works. He told members that the can go to the main MoDOT webpage: www.modot.mo.gov/index.html and then click on Safe and Sound Bridges or go to the www.modot.org/safeandsound/. Preston said that MoDOT originally scheduled repair of 802 bridges in five years and they are a year ahead of schedule. MoDOT will be replacing 19 bridges in the region this year. Preston stated that the most useful tool on the website is the online interactive map. All the ‘green’ squares indicate bridges that have been completed. Other colors represent 3 months or 12 months for construction date. The user can zoom in and see the region and find the information or go straight to the county. The user can click on the box and the information will show up on the right side with a picture of the bridge and the construction update information. The information is updated every week. Preston pointed out that the detours only show state highways.
He said that it is a challenge to coordinate bridge repairs and try to minimize the impact to everyone concerned during the construction phase. The first bridge, Route 28, will begin construction in 11 days. Based on public input, Routes 17 and 133 being closed at the same time would be detrimental for transportation purposes for the local residents so they will be doing them at different times. MoDOT can’t build temporary bypass routes, as it would triple the cost of the repairs. they can’t straighten the roads leading up to the bridges for the same reason.
MoDOT has been in communication with schools regarding the bridge repairs. He stated that people, companies, schools, emergency responders, etc. can sign up for e-updates. MoDOT will also try to get a message board out to the bridge site at least one week or more in advance of closing to inform local residents that repairs will be taking place.
Meramec Region Coalition for Roadway Safety Subcommittee:
Bonnie Prigge updated the TAC committee on the Kick-Off meeting for the coalition subcommittee and discussed the strategy for the next five months.
Bonnie provided information on the Partnership of Safety Advocates. Bonnie stated that the Meramec Regional Planning Commission has created a regional subcommittee. The regional kick-off meeting was held January 31, 2012. There is funding for the Coalition for Roadway Safety Sub-committee for six months. The current challenge is to build this group and make connections in the communities. Bonnie explained that she would like to see the TAC members become involved and help get the information out. She handed out information regarding accidents in the region. Bonnie informed the TAC members that across the state that accident rates have gone down and are at an all-time low since the 1940s, but in the Meramec Region the accident rates have risen in the past year. She said that staff will be using the Buckle-Up Buddy and other promotional items and going out to the communities and schools to do presentations. Last year the information reached 1,700 students and they hope to reach even more this year. There will be funding available to the schools in the region to help with project graduations and docudramas. The application deadline for the docudrama program is March 2, 2012. Bonnie also informed the TAC members that the Highway Patrol offers specific training programs for community members targeting several groups.
MoDOT Updates and Staff Reports:
Central District engineers updated the TAC members on local projects.
The next TAC meeting will be held on April 12, 2012.
Being no further business, T. R. Dudley made a motion to adjourn the February 9, 2012, TAC meeting at 5:37 p.m. John Casey seconded the motion. Motion passed.
TAC Chair Date