MoDOT's Hungerbeeler responds to criticism

Friday, August 29, 2003

CHILLICOTHE, Mo. -- Days after State Auditor Claire McCaskill called for his resignation, Missouri Department of Transportation director Henry Hungerbeeler defended his department Thursday during a speech delivered while visiting northern Missouri for a highway dedication ceremony.

Hungerbeeler was in Chillicothe to help officially designate U.S. 65 as the American Legion Memorial Highway.

The designation pays tribute to members of the American Legion, officials said. It changes the name of the highway from the Arkansas border to the Iowa border, except where otherwise designated.

During a speech at a luncheon in Chillicothe, Hungerbeeler responded strongly to McCaskill's assertion there needs to be a change of leadership and attitude at the department.

"It hurts me to hear the things said about this department and the remarks are hurting good people in our department who are trying to do a good job for the people of Missouri," he said. "Changing management will not solve the highway problems of the state of Missouri."

Hungerbeeler said what will improve the highway system is more revenue for the Department of Transportation.

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