June 11, 2015
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MoDOT Seeks Ideas for "Road to Tomorrow"
The Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission would like to see the nation's oldest interstate highway reborn through innovation and technology.

Following its regular meeting earlier this month, the MHTC announced its intention to make Interstate 70 from Kansas City to St. Louis available to private industry, entrepreneurs and innovators as a laboratory for construction of the next generation of highways.

"Missouri has always been a hub for transportation technology and innovation - and our highways should be no exception," said Gov. Jay Nixon. "As we continue to work to identify a solution to our transportation funding needs, I appreciate the Missouri Department of Transportation for taking a pro-active approach and embracing new technologies that will pave the way toward a brighter future."

President Dwight D. Eisenhower made revitalizing the nation's roads one of his highest priorities in the early 1950s. He envisioned a 40,000-mile network of interstate highways spanning the country. The system of high-speed, access-controlled freeways would facilitate national defense, increase safety and provide for the efficient movement of goods and people.

"It's only appropriate that the re-birth of the nation's interstate system begin at its birthplace," MHTC Chairman Stephen R. Miller said. "Missouri has always been at the heart of highway transportation - not only because the state's geographic location puts it at the nation's core, but also because of the role it's played in the realization of Eisenhower's dream."

"We're open to any and all ideas," Miller said. "Just as MoDOT's design-build projects over the last decade have produced insights and innovations not previously imagined, we are confident that offering free reign to human creativity and a designated site for implementation will generate the very best in American ingenuity." He added that Americans are just now getting a glimpse of the new technologies that could serve as the basis for future highways: GPS systems, autonomous vehicles, alternative fuels, new construction materials, etc.

MoDOT Chief Engineer Ed Hassinger has appointed a team of MoDOT experts to solicit and evaluate ideas from the private sector. Those ideas need to not only focus on innovations in traffic engineering, design and construction, but also innovative ways of funding transportation infrastructure. He said the program will be called "Road to Tomorrow." More information may be found at www.modot.org/road2tomorrow.

"Even as we seek to boldly go where we have not gone before," Miller said, "we must stay firmly rooted in the realities of the moment - and that is that we have insufficient funding to preserve our current system. 'Road to Tomorrow' may be years or decades away. In the meantime, a modest increase in fuel taxes is the most viable way to protect our current transportation assets."

Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/road2tomorrow
Twitter - https://twitter.com/Road2Tomorrow
WordPress (Blog) - https://road2tomorrow.wordpress.com/
Still Time to Vote for Digital Messages
"Unbuckled? Seriously?"
"Put Down Your Phone and Drive." "Changing Lanes? Show Me Your Blinker." These messages are just some of the new safety messages MoDOT has been displaying on its dynamic message signs for the past year.
Now, MoDOT has compiled its top 16 messages and is asking Missourians to vote for their favorite in an online survey at - Message Survey.

Missourians are also invited to submit their ideas for new messages.
The space on the sign is limited to three lines with 16 spaces on each line. 

Message topics and ideas can be emailed to MoMessageBoards
@modot.mo.gov
.

Voting for the favorite message will be available online until June 20. The winner and top two runner-up messages will be announced in July. 
Social Media
Safer Roadways
Click above to watch a short striping video.
Watch for Slow-Moving Trucks 
MoDOT is working on its annual effort to paint fresh stripes on highways. Drivers should be prepared to slow down significantly when coming up behind a slow-moving caravan of MoDOT striping trucks.

MoDOT restripes most of the major highways each year during late spring and early summer. The striping trucks move between 8 mph and 12 mph when workers are painting white and yellow lines on highways. A driver traveling at highway speed can approach a slow-moving striping caravan much quicker than he or she expects because of significant differences in speed.

For example, where the speed limit is 70 mph on interstate highways, cars are covering at least 103 feet per second. If not paying close enough attention approaching the last truck in a striping caravan, a driver suddenly may have to brake and swerve to avoid a high speed, rear-end crash, which can be extremely serious.

The yellow MoDOT trucks have flashing strobe lights and boards with flashing arrows and messages.

"Even with all of the lights and signs, a few MoDOT striping crews are struck each year," said Eileen Rackers, MoDOT state traffic engineer. "We ask motorists to exercise extra patience and attention so no one gets hurt."

Crisp, easy-to-see striping is a significant safety feature on roadways. The paint contains glass beads that reflect light from headlights in the dark. Striping work is important to every driver. Read safety tips here - Striping Safety.

Here's what our striping trucks looked like in the 1940s. Seems like it's related more to a dragster than to our striping trucks of today! See more old photos here - Old Photos.
Have You Seen This?



Looking for a fun way to travel across MO this summer? Click above to check out this latest video on the Missouri River Runner line! 

Work is underway to replace the Missouri Route N/T bridge over Interstate 44 in Greene County west of Springfield. Click above to see a short video of the bridge demolition.

It might not be raining in your neck of the woods right now, but odds are it has and will again soon! Remember that your automatic lights don't always automatically come on when it's raining. Turn them on yourself, and be sure to be seen!
View From the Chair
Road to Tomorrow
Even as we continue to work in the moment to find funding to solve our immediate crisis, we cannot fail to look to the future - and we cannot hesitate to think outside the box.

Big ideas and the courage to pursue dreams have helped to propel our nation forward. During the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln endorsed the vision of completing a transcontinental railroad. Many leaders felt the appropriate time for such a massive undertaking was not in the middle of an expensive war and there were so many unanswered questions: Who would pay for it? Who would build it? Where would it begin and end? Could it be accomplished given the vast unsettled stretches of the West? And yet, the "Golden Spike" was driven on May 10, 1869, signifying the realization of the dream. Many consider it the greatest technological achievement of the nineteenth century.

On May 25, 1961, President John F. Kennedy proposed a similarly dramatic and ambitious goal - announcing the U.S. would send a man to the moon before the end of the decade. There was only one small problem. There was no plan, and NASA had no idea how to put a man on the moon. But eight years later, two Americans walked on the moon. The effort fired the imagination and fueled technological advances that propelled our nation forward.

Read full article - 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.
Road Deaths in Missouri
   
Missouri Dept. of Transportation | (888) 275-6636
P.O. Box 270 Jefferson City, MO 65102-0270