Monday, February 28, 2011

What's That Flash?

Flashing yellow arrows are becoming more common throughout Missouri. Have you seen one at an intersection near you? Watch below to learn more:

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Brake for Seat Belts

Missouri traffic fatalities have decreased by 35 percent since 2005 saving 1,538 lives. Yet seat belt use in Missouri has shown no improvement. Sixty-eight percent of the people killed in traffic crashes are unrestrained representing more than two times the amount of lives we have saved with our safety initiatives since 2005.

Statewide law enforcement will join together tomorrow, Feb. 25 for an aggressive seat belt enforcement effort to get more motorists to buckle up — and save more lives.

Despite evidence proving the benefits of wearing a seat belt, it's still not clicking for nearly one in four Missouri motorists.

Seat belt use in Missouri has remained relatively unchanged in the last six years and consistently below the national average. Missouri has 76 percent seat belt use, well below the national average of 85 percent. Teens and pick-up truck drivers are among those least likely to buckle up at 66 and 61 percent.

For more information about the benefits of seat belts, visit

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Potholes Popping Up? Report Them!

The other day I put a soda in the freezer as a quick and easy way to make it cold. Of course in my usual forgetfulness, several hours passed before I remembered to retrieve it. To my dismay, the carbonated liquid goodness froze and expanded beyond the can’s ability to contain it. In other words, it had exploded and left me with quite a mess to clean up.

That’s very similar to what has been happening to a lot of our roads. While higher temperatures made quick work of much of the snow that blanketed Missouri in historic amounts earlier this month, it also left motorists with another travel condition to watch out for – potholes.

As the snow and ice began to melt during those warmer days, it seeped into cracks and joints in the pavement. As the temperature dropped again each night, the water would refreeze and expand in those crevices inside the pavement, causing it to bulge and fracture. The wear and tear of traffic on top made it worse and eventually chunks of the road began to fall out, just like the frozen soda blew the walls of the aluminum can out.

In the future, I can easily prevent another “blow out” in the freezer by simply not leaving my unopened can in there again. On the other hand, there’s nothing I can do to prevent a pothole from forming, but I can be on the lookout for them and report them to MoDOT so they can be fixed right away.

If you encounter a pothole, report it to MoDOT online using the “Report a Road Concern” link on or call 1-888-275-6636.

Friday, February 18, 2011

More Missourians Choose Travel by Train

Reliable service and reasonable fares at a time of record-breaking winter weather and rising gas prices equal more Missourians choosing to travel by train. The number of passengers on Amtrak’s Missouri River Runner trains grew 13.3 percent in January compared to a year ago. In fact, ridership on the St. Louis to Kansas City corridor has grown every month, except one, since October 2009.

One factor that continues to help the Missouri River Runner draw customers is its on-time performance, which was at 90 percent in January. Another reason is its friendly service, which received a 92 percent customer satisfaction rate in December, the fourth best out of 27 Amtrak state-supported and other short distance routes.

Growth in ridership is good news. More passengers translate to more ticket revenues, which helps keep Missouri’s costs for this state-supported service down.

The capacity and reliability of this service will continue to improve as Missouri takes on more rail improvement projects this year with funding received from the Federal Railroad Administration. Plus, many communities along the rail corridor are showing their support with station improvement projects. Altogether these improvements make the train an even more viable alternative transportation option for Missourians

So, when was the last time you rode the train? Get on board and see why more people are choosing the Missouri River Runner.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

A Valuable Tool for Missourians

It’s been rough this winter. Snow and ice pummeled the state without mercy. Blizzard conditions smothered our roadways. Interstates closed.
But Missourians handled it. They were armed with the power of information, and the numbers prove it.
 During each snow event, hundreds of thousands of travelers turned to MoDOT’s website and social media outlets to see road conditions before they even left their homes.
MoDOT’s online Traveler Information Map, located at, logged a record-breaking half-million visits over a three-day period from Jan. 31 to Feb. 2. Statewide, MoDOT added more than 3,500 new Facebook fans and 500 new Twitter followers.
            These numbers are testimony to the common sense found in Missouri’s citizens. Over the years, they’ve learned to turn to MoDOT for travel information that could potentially save time, money and lives.
            Local weather reports and law enforcement still play a vital role in getting the message out.  Weather conditions can change in an instant and folks need to get all the info they can before making the decision to travel.  MoDOT partners with these traditional means to give Missouri the most complete picture technology will allow.
            It’s hard to believe that just a few short years ago these electronic information avenues didn’t even exist. Now, they are a valuable tool for Missourians. 

Monday, February 14, 2011

Keeping You on the Right Side of the Road

If you have driven across the state of Missouri, chances are you have seen Median Guard Cable and may not even have known it.

Guard Cable has already been installed from St. Louis to Kansas City on Interstate 70. It also stretches along Interstate 44 and on Highway 63 from Jefferson City to Columbia and other major highways across the Show-Me-State.

But what exactly is Guard Cable? Watch above to find out.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Snow Stats

It was all hands on deck last week as MoDOT crews battled one of the biggest snow storms ever to hit the state. The numbers are still coming in, but we estimate that more than 2,500 employees and 1,600 pieces of equipment were used to clear the state's 33,000-mile highway system. Workers put in more than 90,000 hours and used in excess of 30,000 tons of salt and other abrasive materials to treat state roads and bridges. Snowplow trucks logged 1.1 million miles. Overall, the estimated cost of the storm is $7.7 million.

Once the state highways were mostly clear, MoDOT staff turned their efforts to roads in 16 counties at the request of Gov. Jay Nixon. Maintenance crews opened approximately 1,200 miles of snow-covered county roads over three days.

Whenever winter weather hits, remember to turn to our Traveler Information Map at for the latest road conditions. You can also call our toll-free number at 1-888-275-6636.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Celebrate the Super Bowl with a Designated Driver

What’s your favorite part of the Super Bowl? Mine is definitely the commercials, with the food coming in as a close second. But, for many party-goers out there, knocking down a few alcoholic drinks may be one of their favorite ways to enjoy the big game and that can be a big problem if they plan on driving.

Super Bowl Sunday is one of America’s largest and most entertaining national sporting events. It is also one of the most dangerous days on the roads, due to drinking and driving. This year, you can make the right call and help prevent unnecessary deaths and injuries by designating a sober driver before you begin celebrating.

Young males, ages 21 to 34, are most likely to be involved in automobile crashes, to drive while impaired and be among those least likely to wear their safety belts. Research also shows that the same group is the core audience for major sporting events like the Super Bowl. Last year in Missouri there were 37 crashes on Super Bowl Sunday that involved an impaired (alcohol and/or other drugs) driver. One person was killed and 14 people were injured.

If you are hosting the party at your place, find unique ways to recognize the designated drivers at your party:
  • Give them a great spot to watch the game
  • Whatever non-alcoholic beverage they are drinking, make sure their glass is always full
  • Let them have the first pass at the buffet table
  • Make sure their cars are easy to access when it is time to start driving people home
And always encourage all partygoers to buckle up coming and going. Remember, Fans Don’t Let Fans Drive Drunk. For more information, visit

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Amazing Snow Fighters, Amazing Missourians

Making a snowman with your daughter.

Your son clinging to you as you sled down the hill.

Sipping hot chocolate by the fireplace with your spouse.

Snow storms like the one we just experienced sure aren't fun, but there are moments that make for fond memories. Most of us take these moments for granted.

The heroic men and women who take care of our roads, however, do not. In fact, they may never experience many of the winter activities the rest of us enjoy. That's because when it is snowing they are treating roads with salt, plowing and even assisting stranded motorists. They wouldn't have it any other way.

I am proud to work with these great folks. Over the past few days, faced with a historic snow storm, I have been reminded of the dedication and can-do attitude of the people who work tirelessly to keep our roads safe. Even at the darkest (or whitest) points of this storm when the wind was blowing the snow back on the highways about as quick as we plowed it off, our crews kept fighting. They were focused on holding their own in the battle knowing they would eventually win the war. And, while there is much work left to do, they are winning that war.

I have also been reminded of what great people live in the state of Missouri. The outpouring of support on MoDOT's Facebook page, through email, phone calls and other ways has been heartwarming. Most people didn't ask questions. They made a special effort to simply let our crews know they appreciated them and encouraged them to stay safe.

For the most part, people also heeded our strong cautions to stay off the roads if at all possible. Missourians recognized that the safest place to be was at home. This good old Missouri common sense limited accidents and allowed our snow crews to do their jobs.

The efforts of our crews and the support of Missourians remind us that transportation is indeed personal. In the coming months, we will talk more about why a safe transportation system with lots of options to get where you need to go has a personal benefit to each of us.

In the meantime, stay safe, stay warm and thank you for the support you have shown our amazing snow fighters.