Missouri transportation officials OK plan to cut spending

Wednesday, June 8, 2011 | 5:44 p.m. CDT

JEFFERSON CITY — Missouri transportation officials have approved a plan to cut positions, close facilities and sell equipment to bolster money for road and bridge projects.

The Highways and Transportation Commission approved the proposal Wednesday. Transportation department Director Kevin Keith said it will save the agency $117 million annually and $512 million by 2015. Keith proposed the cuts on May 4 because of what he called a transportation funding crisis, according to a previous Associated Press report.

Under the plan, about 1,200 positions will be cut, 131 facilities will be closed and 740 pieces of equipment will be sold. Some jobs have already been cut, and officials will use attrition and transfers to minimize further layoffs. Staff cuts will be made by April 2013.

The plan also calls for district offices in Macon, Joplin and Willow Springs to close. About 70 to 80 workers will remain in each of those areas under the supervision of an area engineer.

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