JEFFERSON CITY, MO - After years of making great progress on state roadways, the Missouri Department of Transportation must now deal with the stark reality of funding levels that will barely take care of the existing transportation system. On July 11, the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission approved the new 2013-2017 Statewide Transportation Improvement Program, which shows a transportation construction program that has dropped from an average of $1.2 billion in recent years to about $700 million. The program includes all transportation projects planned by state and regional planning agencies for fiscal years 2013 through 2017 (July 1, 2012 through June 30, 2017). A $700 million program allows for some resurfacing projects and general maintenance of the existing transportation system, but cannot incorporate the types of construction projects that create jobs, increase safety, ease congestion or foster economic development.Last year, MoDOT implemented the Bolder Five-Year Direction, which is reducing the number of employees, equipment and facilities in order to save the department $512 million by 2015. In fact, without the savings generated from the Bolder Five-Year Direction, this year's transportation program would have been less than $600 million."We've been talking about diminishing revenue streams since 2006 and we've taken action," said MoDOT Director Kevin Keith. "The Bolder Five-Year Direction implemented last year helps, but the reality is we can't cut our way to an improved transportation system."This transportation program shows how we will deliver on the commitments we've made to Missouri, but it also shows how we must now focus our resources on the roads and bridges that need it most."The Highway and Transportation Commission approval of this year's transportation program comes after a draft version was released on May 2 and a public comment period ran through June 1, 2012. MoDOT works with regional and metropolitan planning organizations throughout the year to develop the program.The 2013-2017 Statewide Transportation Improvement Program is available on MoDOT's web site, www.modot.org, and at MoDOT district and regional offices around the state.