April 16, 2015
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Celebrate the Earth

The 21st annual Earth Day celebration, sponsored by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, will be held on Friday, April 24 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the State Capitol south lawn in Jefferson City. Visit DNR's website for all Earth Day details and to see how you can support the event with community projects and kid's activities - Earth Day
 

MoDOT is committed to environmental responsibility. Conserving and reusing resources is part of our daily operations. We promote litter prevention through our Adopt-A-Highway Program, prevent stormwater pollution, and use wildflowers and native grasses along Missouri highways.
 

Recycling is another earth friendly priority for MoDOT, and at times it can take on a gigantic scale. Some of MoDOT's recycling efforts:

  • Roofs to Roads - MoDOT is among the first state agencies in the nation to recycle shingles to resurface or build highways.
  • In 2013, 29 percent of the 3.3 million tons of new asphalt pavement constructed came from recycled components. This saved MoDOT and taxpayers about $11 per ton, or $30 million overall.
  • The majority of MoDOT's recycled products come from aluminum, cardboard, office paper, scrap rubber/tires, scrap metal, motor oil and wood pallets. Of these, 2,500 tons of scrap metal makes up the majority of the recycling followed by 641 tons of rubber/tires (equivalent to more than 61,000 passenger car tires) and 95 tons of motor oil (equivalent to about 27,000 gallons). 
Take the Litter Pledge
I promise to do my part to make and keep Missouri litter free. I promise to keep my house, my yard and my town clean and free of trash. I will throw my trash away and pick up trash when I see it. I will tell my family and friends about No MOre Trash!
View From the Chair
View from the Chair is a personal newsletter prepared by the Chairman of the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission, Stephen R. Miller.

Let's Make Certain We Get The First 2 Cents This Year
"Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the doable." I recently received this advice from a wise man. In other words, don't risk a possible solution even if it is not everything you need.

In an effort to keep transportation funding legislation alive and moving in the Missouri General Assembly, this week Sen. Doug Libla offered a Senate Substitute to his Senate Bill 540. Instead of increasing state fuel taxes by two cents per gallon for three straight years and then tying future rates to the Consumer Price Index it simply calls for a two-cent fuel tax increase beginning January 1, 2016. This, of course, will not come close to closing Missouri's transportation funding gap since MoDOT needs a minimum of six cents. So why the change?
Read More .
Meet Peanut the Turtle
One day back in the late 1980s, a small, young red-eared slider turtle was slowly moving along her way when she got stuck in a plastic ring from a six-pack that someone had thrown on the ground instead of a trashcan. The ring got hung on her shell.



Four or five years passed and the turtle grew but the ring did not.

Eventually, her shell grew around the plastic ring but stayed small where the ring was wrapped around her.

In 1993, when she was about 9 years of age, someone found the turtle and took her to the St. Louis Zoo where staff removed the ring. They also discovered that she had some internal damage to her lungs from the constriction of the ring. She was named Peanut because of the shape of her damaged shell. The Zoo then gave her to the Missouri Department of Conservation where she became and remains the mascot for the state's No MOre Trash! litter prevention and clean-up campaign.

No MOre Trash! is coordinated by the Missouri Departments of Conservation and Transportation.

Peanut is still doing well as she enters her 30s, and continues to grow. Her damaged shell remains as a reminder of the damage that litter can do.
Social Media
Commission Presentation
Rural Roads Connect Missouri's Agricultural Industries
During harvest season, a farmer near LaPlata, Mo. will make about 200 trips from his farm to the grain elevator about 25 miles away in Novelty, Mo. He's transporting corn and soybeans during those trips on Route 156, a rural, state-maintained highway in northeast Missouri.


Click above to watch a video of rural farmer Andy Jackson's presentation to the Commission on how rural roads play an important role in the state's agricultural industry.
Livestock operations use rural routes to haul animals to markets, milk to dairies, and hay to ranchers. Equipment used on these farms can range from 80,000-lb. tractor-trailers and 40-ft. wide combines to horse-drawn Amish buggies and bicycles. Agricultural industries aren't the only businesses that rely on these routes, either. They are heavily used by rock quarries and loggers as well.

For the farmers, business owners, students and other residents who rely on rural roads like Route 156 every day, a smooth, safe ride is just as important for them as it is for anyone else in the state.

That's the perspective Andrea "Andy" Jackson shared when she spoke at the April meeting of the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission. Jackson appeared before the Commission to remind them that rural roads are important, too.

"Tractors, tillage machinery, grain buggies and agriculture equipment travel these roads, moving from farm to farm, as crop production is a vital part of our community," said Jackson. "They might not have thousands of people driving on them every day, but these rural roads play an important role in the state's agricultural industry and in the lives of the people who live here."  Read More.
Kansas City Bridge Ramp Closure 
Downtown Kansas City I-70 Eastbound to I-35 Southbound Ramp Bridge Closed
On Tuesday, crews temporarily closed the downtown Kansas City I-70 eastbound to I-35 southbound ramp bridge. During the annual inspection, engineers found significant deterioration to the structure of the ramp bridge. This is an aging bridge, built in 1967, which thousands of vehicles use daily. Motorists are asked to use alternate routes until further notice. Repairs could take a minimum of two to three weeks.

It is one of 1,400 bridges in the Kansas City region. Statewide, Missouri has over 10,000 bridges to maintain. All bridges are inspected regularly in accordance to federal law, typically every two years. If a bridge has known problems, it is inspected more frequently. If a bridge is open to traffic it is safe; however, as our bridges age and deteriorate, we have to close them more often.

To see a listing of all bridge closures across the state visit MoDOT's website - Bridge Closures.
Off The Road News
Stand Up 4 Transportation
Last week local leaders from the St. Louis bi-state area joined more than 350 organizations across the nation to celebrate Stand Up 4 Transportation Day. The event was sponsored by the American Public Transportation Association to encourage the federal government to commit to a long-term funding plan for transportation infrastructure.

During the event, St. Louis Assistant District Engineer Bill Schnell and others spoke about transportation funding. Read more about the event and watch the video News Conference.
Have You Seen This?

U.S. 60 Project in Springfield

MoDOT's Southwest District's Design-Build project, Project Freeway: U.S. 60 Rogersville, is almost ready to take another big step. Beginning the week of April 20, all four lanes of U.S. 60 in Rogersville will shift to what will become the new ramps at an interchange being built at Routes B/VV in the heart of the Webster County community. The traffic shift is needed so that contractor crews can build the bridge for the interchange.  Because the bridge will take U.S. 60 up and over Routes B/VV, the new structure will be constructed using the median and the existing lanes of U.S. 60.  

 

During this phase of the project, drivers who use U.S. 60 to make their way from western Webster County into and out of the Springfield metro area may find the area rather congested and the pace slow-going. The new interchange will be a welcome site when it is completed by the end of 2015.  It will replace a signalized intersection at a busy location, allowing for a much safer roadway for the many people who travel through there on a daily basis.


For more information on Project Freeway: U.S. 60 Rogersville, visit the
Project Freeway website.


Bicycle and Pedestrian Day at the Capitol
On April 13, advocates for walking and bicycling gathered in front of the Capitol to encourage legislative support for bicycle and pedestrian initiatives. 
 


The event started with the introduction of MoDOT Chief Engineer Ed Hassinger by the president of the Missouri Bicycling and Walking Federation, Rachel Ruhlen. Hassinger spoke on the need for partnerships to get things done, and the value that comes with those partnerships. Working together with local communities helps determine where bicycle lanes and sidewalks would be the most beneficial, so the best plan can be made.


MoDOT supports pedestrians and bicyclists, and strives to integrate nonmotorized travel to provide efficient connections and focus on the safety of those who depend on walking or bicycling as their everyday method of transportation.


Hassinger also took the opportunity to focus on Missouri's current transportation funding problem. He stated that it is important to invest in all modes of transportation, but there is an urgent need to fix the basic highway system now. Without additional funding, MoDOT won't be able to keep roads and bridges in the condition they are in today. Hassinger concluded by telling eveyone to enjoy their ride, and when they finish to go inside the Capitol and talk to their legislators about the need to help all modes of transportation.


After the closing remarks by the speakers, the cyclists who were participating in the event took off from the lawn to the Katy Trailhead. During the trip the cyclists used the U.S. 50/63 pedestrian bridge across the Missouri River, which was built through a partnership with MoDOT, the Department of Natural Resources and Jefferson City.


Missouri Dept. of Transportation | (888) 275-6636
P.O. Box 270 Jefferson City, MO 65102-0270