Web exclusive: Missouri’s transportation commission picks a new director

From Missouri Digital News

The state Transportation Commission has selected its chief engineer, Kevin Keith, to be director of the Missouri Department of Transportation.

Keith has been the department’s interim director since April, when former director Pete Rahn left to work for an engineering company in New Mexico. Keith has been MoDOT’s chief engineer for nine years.

“We have full confidence in his ability to tackle the significant transportation challenges Missouri faces in the coming years,” Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission Chairman Rudy Farber said.

A decline in gas tax revenue, less federal money and no more bond funding has MoDOT looking to cut costs. However, Keith promised the department would complete all road and bridge projects scheduled for the next five years.

“We’re not broke — we still have resources to work with,” Keith said at a news conference. “The trick is going to be, how do we get the most bang out of the resources we have?”

Keith told reporters his management style will differ from Rahn’s.

“I’m fairly direct. And that’s probably even an understatement,” Keith said. “Pete was a master at marketing. My forte has been I’m a master at producing results, I get things done. But one of the things he’s taught me is it’s not just good enough to do it, you’ve got to talk about it.”