December 7, 2006

Shoemyer Asks MoDOT for Spending Details on Local Maintenance Following Storm Delays

After a major snowstorm cut through his district last week, State Senator-elect Wes Shoemyer had praise for state highway crews, and questions for Missouri Department of Transportation management.

“The MoDOT road crews did all they could to clear the highways of snow and ice,” Shoemyer said. “They did a remarkable job, considering they had to travel farther to get to district roads.

“Last year, MoDOT management closed some maintenance sheds in the district,” Shoemyer noted. “And that means potential significant delays in clearing some roads. For example, in Monroe County, MoDOT’s Madison maintenance shed could clear Highway 24 quickly after a snowstorm. Now, the nearest maintenance sheds are in Paris and Centralia. The result? Significant delays in clearing key highways. And that could mean the difference between life and death in critical emergencies.

“Certainly, MoDOT must live within its budget,” Shoemyer said. “And they’ve had to make critical choices. As pressure increases for more urban roads, I want to see MoDOT’s plan for maintaining what we’ve got.

“This is why my office has requested a resource assessment comparison for the thirteen counties my senate office will serve,” Shoemyer said. “The assessment can compare today’s MoDOT resources to five years ago. Actually, with the progress we’ve seen in road construction, northeast Missouri has more miles of roads to maintain. I want to be sure that maintenance resources are keeping up, and the citizens of Northeast Missouri and our crews are as safe as possible.”

“Northeast Missouri families are not second class citizens,” Shoemyer said. “In fact, we know the value of maintaining what we have, to avoid expensive corrections down the road. I want assurance from MoDOT that they’re thinking like us, and continuing the good work on our behalf.”

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