Monday, October 31, 2011

Not a Trick

Bob's story is not a trick, but it's sure a treat for us to have him back!

He had quite an adventure over the last few days, but we'll let him tell the story from his facebook page:

"Where does Barrel Bob go for repair? The plastic surgeon, of course!
I had quite the weekend and have to take some sick leave from my post on US 54 near Lake of the Ozarks. 
Early Saturday morning, I was abducted and forced to carsurf atop a PT Cruiser. It was the second most terrifying experience of my life – and I stand in WORK ZONES, people!
Luckily, the Osage Beach police were on the job and liberated me from the back bedroom of my abductor’s condo. Any photos that might find their way to the Interwebs were taken under duress and my strenuous objection…especially those taken from the left. Everyone knows that the right is my good side."
Bob, we're so glad you're back!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Halloween Buzz

A new smartphone app, Show Me My Buzz, can help you arrive home safely after your Halloween parties this weekend.

The app helps you calculate your estimated blood alcohol concentration, based on your gender and the amount of drinks consumed. Best of all, the app puts you in touch with a nearby cab company quickly and easily. Just make sure the cabby's zombie costume is actually a costume!

Download the app for your iPhone or Android today, and you're on your way to a weekend of spooktacular fun!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

A Halloween Treat

Use Your Head. Designate a Sober Driver.
Trick or Treat! My children are ridiculously excited for Halloween and have been counting down the days for weeks. They can't wait to get the treats in store, and I'm ready to sneak a few of their peanut butter cups myself.

For adults, Halloween fun can take a different turn. If ghoulish punch is on tap, avoid the unwelcome horror of a traffic crash. Plan a designated driver, and keep them well-stocked with fun-sized Skittles and root beer.

For those Halloween heroes who drive sober, heads up -- slow down and pay special attention to the little goblins, princesses and Transformers running about. If they're as excited as my little ones are, their minds are solely focused on Snickers and Tootsie Rolls -- not watching out for traffic.

With a little planning, Halloween can be full of treats for every age and celebration.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Smog Running Scared

Beginning this week, St. Louis smog is running scared - not because of Halloween tricks, but due to some very hungry new concrete.

On Monday , a new smog-eating concrete was poured in St. Louis. It's being tested on a 1500-foot stretch of the new Route 141.

The concrete contains an additive that absorbs smog, uses sunlight to break it down and releases it as nitrogen and carbon dioxide. 

Find more pictures on the MoDOT St. Louis's facebook page. Follow the page to watch for more pictures and the results!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Your Focus Could Be Rewarded

Focusing on your driving rewards you in many ways. Besides avoiding a costly ticket, it's your ticket to arrive alive, safe and sound.

Right now, you could also be rewarded with a new Ford Focus.

The Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety has teamed up with KRCG-TV and Joe Machens Ford to sponsor "Focus on the Road" which includes a chance to win a new 2012 Ford Focus.

To enter, visit the "Focus on the Road MO" fan page on Facebook before midnight on Dec. 14. The drawing is open to all licensed Missouri drivers. The winner will be announced Monday, Dec. 19 when 13 finalists will try their key in the new car to find the winner. 

No matter who wins the car, paying attention while you drive will help make sure you're around to have a safe and happy holiday season.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Home Stretch

MoDOT's Safe & Sound Bridge Improvement Program has entered the home stretch on its way to replacing or repairing more than 800 of the state's worst bridges. Last night, the 600th new bridge opened on Route H in DeKalb County. With 58 bridges still under construction, and about 20 more projects yet to start in 2011, by the end of the year just more than 120 bridges will remain to be built in 2012.

So far this year, 226 new bridges have been constructed by MoDOT's design-build contractor, KTU Constructors, and 41 other bridges have been rehabilitated. KTU has reopened 226 new bridges in the last 216 days.

On the Right Track

You can help put the future of Missouri rail on the right track!

MoDOT has already begun hosting public meetings to get your input on the movement of goods and people in the state by rail. A recent meeting in the Northeast district brought great feedback that will be used to help develop MoDOT's Statewide Rail Plan.

The Rail Plan guides the development of both freight and passenger rail service for the state for the next 20 years. Don't miss your chance to help shape the future of Missouri rail service!

Upcoming meetings:

The Central District meeting will be held from 5:30-7 p.m. on Tuesday, October 25, at East Elementary School, 1229 East McCarty Street in Jefferson City, Missouri.

The St. Louis District meeting will be held from 5:30-7 p.m. on Wednesday, October 26, at the Kirkwood Amtrak Train Station at 110 West Argonne Drive in Kirkwood, Missouri.

The Southeast District meeting will be held from 5:30-7 p.m. on Thursday, October 27, at Osage Community Center, 1625 North Kingshighway in Cape Girardeau, Missouri.

The Northwest District meeting will be held from 5:30-7 p.m. on Tuesday, November 1, at MoDOT NW District Office at 3602 North Belt Hwy in St. Joseph, Missouri.

The Kansas City District meeting will be held from 5:30-7 p.m. on Wednesday, November 2, at Sermon Center North Room at 201 N. Dodgion Avenue in Independence, Missouri.

The Southwest District meeting will be held from 5:30-7 p.m. on Thursday, November 3, at the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce at 202 S. John Q. Hammons Parkway in Springfield, Missouri.

If these are not in your area, you can still be a part! MoDOT is hosting an online public meeting from Oct. 18-Nov. 18 at At the online meeting, you have the opportunity to ask questions and provide comments.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

They're Watching You

This week is National Teen Driver Safety Week. Teen driving is a top concern for safety officials, especially when you consider that traffic crashes remain the number one cause of death for this age group.

Reaching teens with messages about buckling up, putting down the cell phone and focusing while friends are in the car are certainly important. But there's one other source that can really make a difference with teen driving: you. 

If you're a parent, you will face (if you haven't already) that moment when your child asks why you took your hands off the wheel, or why you made some choice comments to the driver ahead of you. 

Teens and children are watching. 

An article this week in USA Today this week points out that many parents admit to being distracted by phones or devices, even while they're teaching their children to drive. 

During Teen Driver Safety Week, it's a good idea for us all to think about how we can encourage safe driving for teens. It's an even better idea to model it for them each day. 

Monday, October 17, 2011

Play Nice!

Remember the game Red Rover? You know, when two teams would form on the playground and one team would call out, “Red Rover, Red Rover, send Wanda on over!” and Wanda would take off running, trying to choose a point where she thought she could break through the line of hand-holding opponents.

If you wanted your team to win, you never tried to run between Greg and Eric. It’s not that they were mean. It was because even by third-grade standards, those guys were big. There’s no way you’d take them on if you wanted to avoid a bruise.

I think of Greg and Eric when I drive my car near a commercial truck. Like them, truck drivers are mostly gentle giants. Still, I will always choose to respect that size and adapt my driving strategy so I’m more visible to the driver and less likely to cause them any concern.

That’s the point of Operation Safe Driver Week – October 16-22 – drivers of big trucks and passenger vehicles respecting each other, paying attention and avoiding unsafe behavior that could result in a crash.

And Eric, if you are still driving that gas tanker, just put on the blinker and come on over. Just like back then, I’m not going to try and stop you!

Friday, October 14, 2011

On the Rise

River Runner Ridership is on the Rise - say it five times fast!

More and more customers are choosing to use Amtrak's Missouri River Runner for their travels. Service is up 8.5 percent in September compared to September 2010, and their on-time performance rate is at 90 percent.

Amtrak chose St. Louis to celebrate another milestone. Yesterday, they honored a St. Louis customer with a 30-day pass on Amtrak's service to celebrate the 30 million passengers that have chosen Amtrak in FY2011.

So, have you chosen the Missouri River Runner lately? Tell us about your trip!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Filling the Beast

You can now go behind the scenes via YouTube or an online streaming video feed and watch as crews work to fill the “Beast,” a large scour hole on U.S. Highway 136 in Atchison County. At 480 feet long and 65 feet deep, the Beast is longer than the Statue of Liberty at 305 feet tall, longer than a football field at 360 feet, but not quite as big as the St. Louis Arch which is 630 feet tall. 

This is the second project to restore access on U.S. Highway 136. It includes filling the last and largest of four gaps in the pavement. The three other gaps were filled during a previous project. All four areas will receive temporary pavement to make the surface drivable this winter. The target completion for this project is Nov. 28, with permanent paving installed next spring.

The Northwest Missouri Flooding Information page,, provides weekly flooding updates for Northwest Missouri, the latest news releases, links for detours and the MoDOT traveler information map, as well as photos and videos.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Taking Extra Steps

104 miles. That is the distance a MoDOT employee and his wife will walk on the Katy Trail from St. Charles to Jefferson City for five days. They are making this journey to raise money towards the construction of a Fallen Workers Memorial in Jefferson City.

MoDOT Weldon Spring Maintenance Crew Leader Jim Feeney, and his wife, Theo, left this morning from St. Charles. The walk will end on Tuesday, Oct. 11, in Jefferson City.

The memorial will honor MoDOT employees who have been killed in the line of duty. It will be totally funded by private donations.

Anyone wishing to make a contribution to the memorial fund can make a check payable to State Highway & Transportation Employees Association of Missouri and mail it to: Fallen Workers Memorial, Attn: Dave B. Taylor, 3929 East 7th St., Joplin, Mo., 64801.

Me Want Smog!

Nom, nom, nom ... this concrete doesn't care much for cookies, but can't resist a nice batch of smog.
MoDOT and contractor Fred Weber Inc., will test a new type of concrete on a section of Route 141 in St. Louis this month.

A new additive which breaks down smog will be added to the stretch. The additive absorbs smog, uses sunlight to break it down and releases it as nitrogen and carbon dioxide.

Stay tuned for the result!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Bolder Direction

MoDOT’s plan to reduce staffing, facilities and equipment has resulted in $177 million being redirected to critical road and bridge projects in Missouri.  As of Sept. 30, the department had eliminated 667 staff positions, closed 23 facilities and disposed of 245 pieces of equipment under its Bolder Five-Year Direction.

Those moves have allowed the department to save $177 million. More than $64 million of that money has been used to improve the state’s rural roads.

As part of the plan, MoDOT has strategically placed engineers throughout the state to serve as community contacts for their respective areas. Find them here:

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Are You Walking Yet?

Today is International Walk to School Day. It's a great opportunity to reflect how you can incorporate more exercise into the day for your family, as well as how you can reduce congestion around schools and help your community's environment. 

If you missed walking or bicycling this morning, don't give up! October is Walk to School Month, so there's still plenty of time to celebrate. Need an extra incentive besides the gorgeous fall weather? The Missouri Bicycle and Pedestrian Federation has included a Walk/Bike to School Savings Calculator on their blog to help you determine the money your choices can save. 

To join others in the fun, visit to find an event specific to your community.
So what are you waiting for? Hit the road (or sidewalk).

Monday, October 3, 2011

Weigh In

Roads & Bridges magazine is asking a question on their most recent poll that is likely to provoke some strong feelings:

Should truck drivers have shorter hours and on-time duty? FMCSA says yes, and Washington says no.

What's your take? Visit to weigh in.