The Missouri Department of Transportation shares the same problem as many state transportation departments – more needs than money. However, MODOT’s chief engineer believes that his department has found a way to attack the problem through what he terms Practical Design.
Kevin Keith told a group of about 50 ITD engineers and staff members assembled at Headquarters on Thursday (May 24) that MODOT’s approach to managing its highway program has changed.
a Practical Design initiative MODOT has chosen to concentrate resources
on building a great “system” over great “projects.”
By radically controlling costs, maximizing competition and seeking innovation at every opportunity, MODOT has moved perception of the condition of its roads from 39 percent positive to 74 percent positive in two years. MODOT is responsible for about 32,000 miles of interstate and state highways and is ranked 47th in revenue per mile to deal with the system.
“The public loves it,” he said. “Seventy-nine
percent of news editorials are positive.”
The decision to build “Chevys” instead of
“Cadillacs” has given MODOT districts more money to tackle
more projects. “Sometimes good enough is better than best,”
First, safety will not be compromised: “Every project we do will make the facility safer after its completion.”
Second, collaboration and cooperative partnerships will
be encouraged and rewarded.
By challenging district engineers to build good, not great, in order to control costs, MODOT has saved 10 percent on STIP projects – money returned to each district for additional project work.