Thursday, July 9, 2009

Starts With a Bang, Ends With a Whimper

Suppose your boss surprises you one day with an unexpected one-time bonus. You decide to use the money to build that new patio you always wanted for your house. Because you’ve planned for that patio for some time and have carefully researched prices, you end up getting a good deal. The money you save on the patio lets you do some repairs and other odd jobs around your house.

But suppose looming in the future is the likelihood your income will decline to almost a third of the current amount. You’ll be lucky to keep what you own, much less buy anything new.

That’s how it is with the Missouri Department of Transportation’s five-year highway construction program. As MoDOT Director Pete Rahn puts it, “It’s a lot like when someone comes to you and says, ‘Do you want the good news or the bad news. That’s how it is with our construction program. We’re going to be able to do a lot of great things at the beginning, but we won’t be able to maintain that momentum.”