CHICAGO — Missouri has turned east to New Hampshire for a new head of transportation.
The Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission on Nov. 5 announced its selection of Patrick K. McKenna as director of the Missouri Department of Transportation.
"After a nationwide search, the commission knew Mr. McKenna had the vision and experience to lead the department to a new level of success and achievement," said commission chairman Stephen Miller. McKenna previously served as the deputy commissioner of the New Hampshire Department of Transportation.
"Missouri faces a lot of transportation challenges, but MoDOT's employees have proven time and again they can handle it," McKenna said in a statement.
McKenna served as the chief financial, operating and legislative officer for the New Hampshire organization as deputy commissioner. He also worked in leadership positions in the public, private and non-profit sectors, the commission's statement said. McKenna also worked for several years as the sole proprietor of a real estate holdings company.
McKenna replaces Roberta Broeker who was serving as interim director during the search. Broeker is the department's longtime chief financial officer. She stepped in the lead role after the retirement of Dave Nichols on May 1. Nichols served in the role for two years. He previously was chief engineer there.
McKenna starts next month. He takes over during a difficult time in the department's finances as its funding sources have tightened and it's searching for new revenue. Voters last year shot down a sales tax hike for road funding and lawmakers have failed to agree on a gasoline tax hike or other revenue sources to pursue.
The commission expects a drop in funding to $325 million in 2017 from $700 million. During McKenna's tenure in his previous position, New Hampshire secured a Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act loan for $784 million to rebuild and expand a major interstate.