Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Sun Power

When the racers in the American Solar Challenge roll into Jefferson City on Tuesday, June 22, for a checkpoint at the Capitol, they will be greeted with a portable highway sign bearing the message, "Welcome Solar Racers."

So what, you might ask?

Well, the cool thing is the sign is powered by the sun just like the cars in the race. Using solar power is just one way MoDOT strives to be energy efficient and a good steward of the environment.

One of MoDOT's hybrid bucket trucks will also be on display at the Energy and Innovation Fair sponsored by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources in conjunction with the race check point. MoDOT was the first government agency in the nation to test the energy-saving diesel-electric truck.
The department is also a leader in using alternative fuels and recycled roof shingles in asphalt. Plus, each year MoDOT crews pick up more than 80,000 tires that are left on state highways. The tires are ground up and used as fuel at power plants.
So it's just natural - no pun intended - that MoDOT is helping sponsor the Solar Challenge Race event. You can find out more about the race at www.dnr.mo.gov/solarrace.htm. More information about MoDOT's green efforts can be found at www.modot.org/goinggreen/conservation.htm.

A Vacation to Remember

When I plan a vacation, it usually involves relaxing and doing as little as possible. For MoDOT employee Kris Sandgren, his plans are much more noble.

Sandgren is a Maintenance Crew Leader with MoDOT and an avid bicyclist from Springfield, Mo.. Today, he began a 2,600 mile bicycle journey today to bring attention to the importance of work zone safety and raise money for a Missouri Fallen Workers' Memorial.
"When I first heard about the monument, I thought it was a great idea," Sandgren said. "Some of our losses were close to home. It made me think about the monument a lot harder when it happened to people I knew."
Sandgren left from Anacortes, Wash., to spend three weeks of his own vacation time pedaling through seven states. He will ride approximately 100 miles per day and end his journey in Jefferson City, Mo. In between, he will travel through Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and Iowa.
Since 1932, 130 MoDOT employees have died in the line of duty. Sandgren's ride highlights the importance of slowing down and using extra caution when traveling through a work zone and honors those workers who have lost their lives.
The memorial will be paid for entirely by private donations. About half of the needed $94,000 has been raised. The planned location is near the MoDOT headquarters building in Jefferson City, on the Capitol grounds.
To make a donation or pledge by the mile:
Make check payable to:
State Highway & Transportation Employees
Association of Missouri
Mail to:
Fallen Workers Memorial
c/o District 7 Highway Credit Union
3901 E. 32nd St., Suite A
Joplin, MO 64804
Attention: Dave B. Taylor