Friday, May 30, 2008

MoDOT Posts New Videos on YouTube Showcasing Projects and Highway Safety Efforts

JEFFERSON CITY – The Missouri Department of Transportation has just posted four new videos about highway and bridge projects, highway safety and other progress as promised on YouTube today at

The videos include:
· A flyover animation of the future landmark Mississippi River Bridge – St. Louis

· Footage of the rapid construction of the Jefferson Street Overpass – Jefferson City

· MoDOT Saving Lives and Reducing Injuries – A synopsis of MoDOT and the Missouri
Coalition for Roadway Safety’s initiatives to reduce fatalities and injuries on Missouri roads.

· SRI from MoDOT One Year Ahead of Schedule – A synopsis of MoDOT completing the work to make 2,200 miles of Missouri’s major highways Smoother and Safer, Sooner.

There are also several other MoDOT videos available, showing how dedicated truck lanes would work, dramatic footage of the Route 19 Missouri River Bridge demolition, guard cable crash tests and an aerial view of the ongoing construction on the new Interstate 64 in St. Louis.

Monday, May 19, 2008

MoDOT Announces 2008’s “Top 10 Work Zones To Look Out For”

JEFFERSON CITY – Travel season is right around the corner. With Memorial Day coming up and schools closing for the summer, millions of motorists will soon hit the road. This year they’ll discover numerous highway work zones and potential delays, because the Missouri Department of Transportation is in the middle of a very busy construction season, with hundreds of work zones active throughout the year.

“Missouri’s roads are getting better in a big way this year,” said MoDOT Director Pete Rahn. “But that means there will be growing pains for the next few months. We’ve got some big projects planned that will require motorists’ full attention.”

To help travelers prepare for what’s ahead, MoDOT has put together a list of the state’s top 10 work zones to look out for, based on volume of traffic, amount of work and level of delay. “These are the projects most likely to slow you down, so avoid them if you can, especially during peak hours,” Rahn said.

The top 10 list of highway work zones to look out for in 2008 is ranked in order of impact. Most work zones will not be active over the Memorial Day weekend, but it may be necessary for lane closures to remain in place. For more information on these or other projects around the state, please call 888-ASK-MoDOT or visit

Top 10 Work Zones To Look Out For in 2008

1. St. Louis -- Interstate 64 – I-64 is closed, in both directions, from I-270 to I-170. Includes work on several cross streets that will close or have reduced lanes for the duration of the year. The Hampton interchange will close in September 2008 and reopen in May 2009. Additionally, other ramps and bridges will be closed throughout the year. Carries 158,000 vehicles per day. Expect delays through peak travel times. For driving directions around the closed section of I-64, use MoDOT’s Map My Trip feature at

2. Kansas City -- kcICON: Interstate 29/35 reconstruction -- Interstate 29/35 from Route 210/Armour Road to the northeast corner of the downtown Kansas City central business district loop will have restricted lanes and various ramp closures through 2011. Carries 102,000 vehicles per day. Two restricted lanes open daily 6-8:30 a.m. and 3:30-6:30 p.m. Delays expected during both peak and non-peak hours. Project includes construction of the new, Christopher S. Bond Missouri River Bridge. For more information visit

3. Columbia – Interstate 70, from Route 740 (Stadium Blvd.) in Columbia to the Missouri River Bridge at the Boone/Cooper County line -- Westbound lanes will be reduced for resurfacing work. Work will begin in June and end in late 2008. Carries 51,900 vehicles a day. Expect lane closures and moderate delays during night hours, when work is taking place.

4. St. Louis – Route HH from Kehr’s Mill to Baxter Road – Widening the road to three lanes. Permanent road restrictions are in place. Construction runs through late summer 2008. Carries 34,000 vehicles per day. Expect significant delays to traffic in the area.

5. Kansas City -- I-70 Bridge over Manchester Trafficway -- Bridge rehabilitation and redecking at Manchester Bridge, which will require three weekend closures and detours of traffic on interstate handling up to 120,000 vehicles daily. Weekend closures will be only one direction at a time and include one weekend in June and two weekends in July.

6. Springfield -- I-44/Glenstone Avenue (Route H) interchange -- The ramps at the interchange will be rebuilt, the Glenstone Avenue bridge over I-44 replaced and Glenstone Avenue (Route H) widened between I-44 and Valley Water Mill Road. Work scheduled summer 2008 through fall 2010. I-44 carries 35,000 vehicles a day, and Glenstone Avenue (Route H) carries 3,000 vehicles a day. No delays expected during peak travel times. However, it will be necessary during nighttime hours to divert I-44 traffic over ramps during bridge work.

7. Iowa Line to Boone County - Route 63 – Four resurfacing projects will upgrade 63 miles of this major corridor across Schuyler, Adair, Macon and Randolph Counties. Along with resurfacing the driving lanes and shoulders, these Better Roads Brighter Future Projects include centerline rumble strips on two-lane sections and edge line rumble strips on two-lane and four-lane sections. Traffic will be reduced to one lane in the work zones. Projects will be completed this fall. Carries up to 10,000 vehicles a day, depending on location.

8. Mississippi County -- Interstate 57 -- Southbound I-57 will be resurfaced with concrete and new shoulders added from the Illinois state line to two miles south of the Route 105 exit near Charleston. Both northbound and southbound traffic will be reduced to one lane with southbound traffic diverted to the northbound lane. Work is ongoing to late summer. Carries 10,500 vehicles daily. Ten to 15-minute delays possible.

9. Van Buren to Willow Springs – Route 60 – Four-lane expansion work will continue throughout Carter, Shannon and Howell counties with final completion of the entire corridor expected by the end of 2009. Projects include grading and paving, box culvert construction, and the building of a five-lane section through the community of Mountain View. Delays will be minimal, as most work will occur off the travel lanes. Delays through Mountain View will be moderate due to crews and equipment working directly on or near the roadway. Route 60 carries between 5,000 and 7,000 vehicles per day, depending on location.

10. Kansas City -- Route 71 -- Resurfacing of mainline and outer roads from Blue Ridge Boulevard in Grandview to 155th Street in Belton. Much of the work will occur at night and off-peak periods. More than 70,000 vehicles daily pass through the segment. Work also will begin on interchange replacements at Route 150 in Grandview, Route Y in Belton and a new interchange at about 187th Street (North Cass Parkway) in Cass County.


Editor’s note: For a graphic illustrating the top 10 work zones, as well as a clickable map, please visit MoDOT’s newsroom at

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Five-Year Transportation Program Includes Last Hurrah of New Projects

New Major Projects Added

JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri's proposed five-year transportation improvement program includes a last hurrah of new transportation projects before plummeting to a program where limited funding will only cover minimal maintenance and safety work.

The 2009-2013 transportation program includes $300 million in new construction projects because lower than expected interest rates provided additional Amendment 3 bonding capacity. The $140 million bonded amount, combined with state savings from using Practical Design on projects and local matching funds, allows the Missouri Department of Transportation to tackle these new highway projects over the next five years, including additional lanes, interchange improvements and congestion relief.

"While it's great news to be able to pursue this additional work, we can't overlook the fact that in this program the Amendment 3 bond proceeds are used up, and our state transportation program goes back to critically low spending levels," MoDOT Director Pete Rahn said. "The program we're proposing marks the shift from having the opportunity to build new projects to barely maintaining what we have."

Missouri transitions from a construction program averaging $1.23 billion to a construction program of about $575 million in 2013. Compounding the funding problem is an expected decline in federal revenue, and rising fuel and construction costs.

"We have seen great progress due to Amendment 3," Rahn said. "Missouri must now have a conversation about what is to come regarding continued improvements to our transportation system."

Here are the projects added using the additional $300 Million:

· Adair County, Rt. 63, Kirksville relocation, $32 million

· Lincoln County, Rt. 61, new interchange in Troy, S. Lincoln Dr., $13 million

· Jackson County, I-70 & I-435, improve capacity Blue Ridge Cut-off & Rt. 40, $34 million

· Jackson County, I-70 & Rt. 40, relocated north outer road Grain Valley, $4 million

· Johnson County, Rt. 13, Warrensburg relocation north of Rt. 50, $22 million

· Osage County, Rt. 50, four-lane Rt. 63 to Linn $45 million

· St. Charles County, Rt. 94/364/Page Ave., upgrade to freeway Jungermann Rd to Rt. 94, $24 million

· St. Louis County, Rt. 141, purchase right of way, $23 million

· Jefferson County, I-55 & Rt. M, add ramps, $12 million

· Monett to Republic, Rt. 60, add passing lanes, $25 million

· Greene County, Rt. 65, capacity improvement Battlefield to Chestnut in Springfield, $16 million

· Stone County, Rt. 13, improve safety and capacity Rte 76 to Kimberling City bridge, $24 million

· Butler County, Rt. 67, roadway improvements Rt. M to Rt. 160, $28 million

The draft 2009-2013 Statewide Transportation Improvement Program lists all transportation projects planned by state and regional planning agencies for fiscal years 2009 through 2013 (July 1, 2008 - June 30, 2013). It totals $5.78 billion, with approximately $4.35 billion going to 662 highway and bridge projects, about $790 million to other transportation modes and approximately $640 million to local transportation programs.

"We used an extensive public involvement process to develop this program and have worked with our planning partners from communities around the state to identify and prioritize these new projects," Rahn said.

The proposed program is available for public review beginning May 14. Citizens interested in seeing the program or offering comments can contact MoDOT's customer service centers at 1-888 ASK MODOT (275-6636). The program is also available on MoDOT's Web site - - and at MoDOT's district offices around the state. The formal public comment period ends June 27.

Following the public review, the comments will be presented to the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission. The commission will review the comments and the final transportation program before considering it for approval July 2.

The draft 2009-2013 Statewide Transportation Improvement Program includes transportation improvements identified by metropolitan planning organizations in St. Louis, Kansas City, Springfield, Columbia, Jefferson City, Joplin and St. Joseph. The STIP projects located in these areas are subject to discussion and approval by the appropriate metropolitan planning organization.

Editor's Note: A map showing the program's proposed highway and bridge projects is available at

Friday, May 9, 2008

Buckle Up Day and Night

Click It or Ticket

JEFFERSON CITY - Buckling up only takes seconds, but these seconds could save your life in a traffic crash.

The Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety is joining with state and local law enforcement May 12 through Memorial Day for an aggressive national “Click It or Ticket” program to crack down on unbelted drivers and save lives. Missourians also will be reminded to buckle up through state and national advertisements.

“Seat belts clearly save lives. But unfortunately, too many folks still need a tough reminder, so we are going to be out in force buckling down on those not buckling up,” said Capt. Tim Hull of the Missouri State Highway Patrol. “We don’t want to lose a single person in a traffic crash if it can be helped.”

A driver involved in a 2007 Missouri traffic crash had a 1 in 32 chance of being killed if they were not wearing a seat belt. However, when a driver wore their seat belt, their chance of being killed was only 1 in 1,329.

“Many drivers take the attitude that ‘it will never happen to me,’ but fatal crashes happen every day to all types of people,” said Leanna Depue, chair of the coalition’s executive committee. “So unless you want to risk a ticket, or worse – your life, please remember to Buckle Up and Arrive Alive.”

Wearing a seat belt is the most effective way to reduce injuries and fatalities in a crash because it provides protection from being ejected and keeps motorists from smashing into windshields, dashboards and other passengers.

“Wearing your seat belt costs you nothing and not wearing it can cost you everything,” Depue said.

Nationally in 2006, 72 percent of passenger vehicle occupants involved in a fatal crash who were buckled up survived the crashes. When worn correctly, seat belts have proven to reduce the risk of fatal injury to front-seat passenger car occupants by 45 percent – and by 60 percent in pickup trucks, SUVs, and minivans. Yet, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly one in five Americans still fail to regularly wear their seat belts when driving or riding in a motor vehicle.

For more information on Missouri seat belt use, visit, and for more information on the national campaign, visit

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Sheryl Crow Encourages Missouri Teens to Buckle Up

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - Sheryl Crow wants Missouri teens to Buckle Up and Arrive Alive.

A public service announcement featuring the nine-time Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter and Missouri native talks about some of her best memories as a teenager, including basketball games, prom and hanging out with friends. Crow advises teens "Don't let your fun be cut short. Safety belts save lives. Make them a habit."

You can hear the spot, which has been sent to radio stations across Missouri, at, as well as on YouTube at

Teens are an important audience for seat belt messages in Missouri. Recent surveys show only 61 percent of Missouri teenagers wear seat belts, a dramatic difference from Missouri's statewide seat belt usage rate of 77 percent and the national average of 82 percent. In 2006, 153 teen vehicle occupants were killed. Of those killed, 73 percent were not wearing their seat belt.

For more information regarding young drivers in Missouri, visit