MoDOT Announces Roberta Broeker as Interim Director
The Missouri Department of Transportation announced Wednesday it will have a new, but familiar face, as its director.
MoDOT announced Chief Financial Officer Roberta Broeker will replace the current director, Dave Nichols, as interim director of MoDOT on May 1 when Nichols retires.
“I don’t think I ever thought I had the chance to be the director even on an interim basis, so it’s a surprise. It’s an unanticipated benefit and a great opportunity,” Broeker said.
Broeker spent the past 17 years with MoDOT and has been the department’s chief financial officer since 2005. In her current position, she oversees a $2.2 million budget, and she previously spent time as a state auditor.
These skills and the experience gained over her career gives members of MoDOT like Public Relations Officer Holly Dentner optimism about the appointment.
“Roberta has a 35-year career with the state of Missouri,” Dentner said. “She knows state government well.”
In her time as interim director, Broeker said she will address a lack of funding.
“We very much have to continue to focus on the big challenges we have here, which is insufficient funding,” Broeker said. “So how do you provide the best customer service, the best transportation system that you can when the dollars aren’t sufficient?”
The department budget was around $1.3 billion just a few years ago but will fall to $325 million around 2017-2019. MoDOT released a statement this year stating it costs $485 million to take care of the state’s roads and bridges.
“We have the seventh largest transportation system in the nation, but we’re 46th in terms of revenue per mile.” Broeker said.
Broeker said Missouri has about 34,000 miles of roads, and with the current funding, MoDOT will only focus on about 8,000 miles of those roads. Despite funding shortfalls, Broeker said the department will look to make the most efficient use of the funds it has.
During Broeker’s time as director, MoDOT will search for a permanent replacement for Nichols. Broeker said she will not consider taking the permanent position, but will take part in the decision-making process for the next director if asked.
MoDOT’s commission led by Stephen Miller hired Grant Cooper & Associates to help with identifying potential candidates to lead the department and plans to announce the next director this fall.