MRPC News Release

For immediate release
June 13, 2016

For more information, contact
Bonnie Prigge or Lyle Thomas at (573) 265-2993

John Casey to chair MRPC transportation committee

ST. JAMES—Meramec Regional Transportation Advisory Committee (TAC) elected a new slate of officers June 9, as all previous officers met their two-year term limits.

John Casey of Washington County will replace Crawford County Presiding Commissioner Leo Sanders and lead the group through the next year as chairman. Dave Dudenhoeffer of Osage County will replace Dent County Commissioner Darrell Skiles and serve as vice chair, while Crocker Mayor James Morgan will replace Washington County Presiding Commissioner Marvin Wright as secretary.

New officers will take office during the Aug. 11 meeting.

The committee also hosted special speaker Cheryl Ball, MoDOT waterways freight administrator. Ball provided the board with an overview of the new emphasis of freight within the FAST ACT, the new federal transportation legislation.

“The FAST ACT marks the first time Missouri has seen allocated funds for freight,” Ball said.

Federal legislators signed the FAST ACT, a five-year transportation plan, into law in December 2015, to provide continued funding for the transportation system in each state.

FASTLANE grant allocations include $800 million annually for freight and some non-freight allowances. The national highway network targets projects that require a minimum of $8.33 million with a $5 million grant and 40 percent minimum match requirement. No more than $500 million in five years can go to non-highway projects. MoDOT submitted two out of the 219 grant applications submitted nationwide.

The freight formula allows for $28 to $32 million annually, but there are limited roads it can be spent on.

“There are only three types of roads in Missouri that we can spend money on––those on the primary highway freight system, critical rural freight corridors and critical urban freight corridors––of which, around 300 miles of Missouri roadways are eligible under the highway freight network,” Ball said.

MoDOT will use this funding for projects already in the state’s Statewide Transportation Improvement Plan that meet the freight criteria.

“We had more than enough projects for freight to set up the funds,” Ball said. “There wasn’t a need to send out requests for projects.”

Under the state freight plan, Missouri is mandated to list critical multimodal facilities/corridors, consider the significant congestion or delay caused by freight movements and strategies to address and have a freight investment plan.

“We are looking for how we can best use this program in Missouri to meet the needs we have as a state,” Ball said.

MoDOT Area Engineer Preston Kramer introduced Missouri Moves Fund, a type of cost share program similar to MoDOT’s program that was suspended in 2014.

“Elected officials in Jefferson City have allocated $20 million in general revenue for cost share projects,” Kramer said.

Guidelines and requirements for the grant have not yet been released.

The board was also updated on the:

  • State Transportation Improvement Plan; and
  • Meramec RTP (Regional Transportation Plan)
  • Kramer also noted that MoDOT crews are mowing right-of-ways and reminded everyone that political signs are not allowed on state right-of-way and will be removed.

The next TAC meeting will be held at 4 p.m. Aug. 11.

Formed in 1969, MRPC is a voluntary council of governments serving Crawford, Dent, Gasconade, Maries, Osage, Phelps, Pulaski and Washington counties and their respective cities. A professional staff of 21, directed by the MRPC board, offers technical assistance and services, such as grant preparation and administration, housing assistance, transportation planning, environmental planning, ordinance codification, business loans and other services to member communities.

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