Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Bottleneck Be Gone

By definition, a bottleneck is something that halts free movement and progress. While it may not be a term we like to see associated with any mode of travel, bottlenecks still do exist on Missouri's main passenger rail corridor.

The good news is that MoDOT, Union Pacific, Amtrak and other partners are working together to eliminate these trouble spots.

In accordance with this goal, MoDOT recently signed a service agreement with Union Pacific Railroad that will allow work to begin on Missouri’s first rail infrastructure project funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act – a second rail bridge over the Osage River.

The project will eliminate the last bottleneck on the eastern segment of the St. Louis to Kansas City rail corridor that sometimes causes delays for freight and Amtrak trains between Jefferson City and St. Louis.

The agreement was made following extensive negotiations between MoDOT, UP, Governor Jay Nixon’s Office and several other agencies, including the Federal Railroad Administration.

Don’t look for dirt to start flying quite yet though. MoDOT and UP will need to develop the construction plan before work can begin. Construction is expected to begin this fall, but prolonged flooding could push the start date into the spring.

This project, along with others Missouri has received funding for, will continue to alleviate remaining bottlenecks that cause congestion on the state’s major rail corridor. In turn, these improvements will make rail transportation safer and more reliable with a greater capacity for delivering both passengers and freight.

Missouri Teen Battles Distracted Driving With Her Song

Kori Caswell
A Missouri Teen has won second place in a national contest focused on stopping distracted drivers. Kori Caswell, 17, of Hannibal, shared a life-saving message in her song "On the Road, You Can Make Or Break Your Dreams" as part of the Ford Driving Skills for Life "Belt It Out" song contest.

Hear Kori's winning song and check out the other winners at www.drivingskillsforlife.com. She received a $3,000 savings bond as her prize.

The contest involved 520,000 public votes and final judging by Shawn Wilson, president of Usher's New Look Foundation. The public selected the five finalists on www.drivingskillsforlife.com, and Wilson chose the first, second and third-place winners.

Congratulations Kori!