The State Auditor’s office completed its audit of the Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) and once again found the department to be running efficiently with the funds that have been provided. State Auditor Shad White told Y’all Politics, “National experts were brought in who had done studies on departments of transportation around the country for this project. Working with those experts, we found MDOT is meeting many industry standards and best practices. But in any agency with a billion-dollar budget, there will be ways to save money.”
Areas were recognized where the department could save a few million dollars, just as there are for DOTs around the country, but overall it was uncovered that the department is performing well. In reality, a 2015 Mississippi Economic Council study, commissioned by the Legislature, found MDOT needed an additional $375 million per year just to keep up with existing roads and bridges. While the funds allocated during the 2018 Legislative Special Session are appreciated and will certainly be used to make our roads and bridges safer for all Mississippians, we still have a long way to go. The lottery is expected to raise just $80 million for roads and bridges, leaving MDOT almost $300 million short and that’s just considering what is needed to maintain existing roads and bridges.
Saving a few million here and there through “stream-lining” won’t solve that problem, a long-term, comprehensive and sustainable funding solution will.
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