November 12, 2015
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McKenna Named New Director
of MoDOT

Patrick K. McKenna has been named the new director of MoDOT by the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission. The announcement was made last week at a press conference following the commission's monthly meeting.

"After a nationwide search, the commission knew Mr. McKenna had the vision and experience to lead the department to a new level of success and achievement," said Stephen R. Miller, chairman of the MHTC. Patrick McKenna previously served as the deputy commissioner of the New Hampshire Department of Transportation.

"I am excited and honored to take on the director's position at MoDOT," said Patrick McKenna, new director of MoDOT. "Missouri faces a lot of transportation challenges, but MoDOT's employees have proven time and again they can handle it. The department's nationwide reputation for innovation is proof of that."

In his role as deputy commissioner, McKenna served as the chief financial, operating and legislative officer for the organization. He has also worked in leadership positions in the public, private and non-profit sectors. Mr. McKenna also worked for several years as the sole proprietor of a real estate holdings company.

McKenna will replace Interim Director Roberta Broeker, who will return to her previous position as MoDOT's chief financial officer.
Always Buckle Up!
Six out of 10 people killed in 2014 Missouri traffic crashes were not wearing a seat belt.

When worn correctly, seat belts can reduce the risk of death for front seat occupants of passenger cars by 45 percent.
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View From the Chair
MHTC Announces New MoDOT Director 
View from the Chair by Missouri Transportation Commission Chairman Stephen R. Miller

"A leader takes people where they want to go. A great leader takes people where they don't necessarily want to go, but ought to be." Rosalynn Carter

Given Missouri's transportation crisis and our challenges with insufficient funding, there were those who questioned whether the Commission could find that great leader. But great leaders willingly seek out and embrace a good challenge. That was the case with respect to the Commission's search for a new Director.
 
We began the nationwide search last spring through the exceptional work of our executive search experts, Grant Cooper & Associates. They spent several months connecting with leaders from across the country in an effort to actively recruit candidates that met the description of what we were looking for in a new Director.

Meeting that description is no small task. We needed someone who understands the relationship between transportation and economic development and the impacts on the quality of life for all Missouri citizens. The Commission was looking for a salesperson and innovator who is well versed in the infrastructure funding challenges that exist across the country. We were looking for someone with a track record of working collaboratively with elected officials, industry leaders, and citizens in finding solutions through innovative funding and financing options. We were seeking a leader who will lead, inspire, motivate, empower, and encourage creativity as the MoDOT team moves forward, as well as someone who understands our values and the significance of sustaining a safe and inclusive organizational culture that continues to deliver outstanding customer service.   Read More .
Have You Seen This?
Barrel Bob Gets Burned, Bounces Back to Work 

In an act of early Halloween villainy, MoDOT's Central District's 10-foot tall orange mascot and tireless promoter of work zone safety was lit on fire at his post on U.S. Route 50/63 in Jefferson City. Bob was discovered slumped over on the ground, with severe burns on his legs and torso. Both legs needed to be replaced, so Bob was sent into intensive repair and was under the care of one of the district's best "plastic surgeons."

Everyone associated with the MoDOT's mascot knows that you can't keep a good barrel down. So in typical Barrel Bob fashion, he defied all the odds and made a miraculous recovery. He demanded to go back to work the moment the surgeon was finished. Bob was back at his post in Jefferson City the week of Nov. 2.

And as you can see by the photo, complete with a defiant "I'm back" sign, he's more determined than ever to spread the message of work zone safety to the motorists of the Central District.
Funding
Learn More About Transportation
 
Click on the image to watch a short video of MoDOT's Director of Transportation Michele Teel to learn more about the various types of transportation in Missouri and the funding that keeps those modes available to our customers.
USDOT Awards $500 Million in 2015 TIGER Grants for Infrastructure Work in 34 States

The U.S. Department of Transportation awarded $500 million in 2015 TIGER grants to 39 infrastructure projects across the nation, with one of the largest grants - $25 million - for a Midwest regional truck parking management system to be shared by eight state DOTs.


Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said the projects aided by this year's grant program extend to 34 states, and rural areas received 43 percent of the awards for the highest rural percentage in seven rounds of the program.

The grants go to a wide range of project categories: highway, bridge, urban and rural transit, passenger and freight rail, port and bicycle/pedestrian. "In this round of TIGER, we selected projects that focus on where the country's transportation infrastructure needs to be in the future: ever safer, ever more innovative and ever more targeted to open the floodgates of opportunity across America," Foxx said.

But the USDOT also said it received 627 eligible applications from all 50 states plus several territories and tribal governments, a total of $10.1 billion in project grants.

Foxx used the announcement to say the nation needs to invest more in its infrastructure. "Transportation is always about the future," he said. "If we're just fixing today's problems, we'll fall further and further behind. We already know that a growing population and increasing freight traffic will require our system to do more."

Among this year's awards is that eight-state grant to provide truck drivers with real-time information to make the best decisions about where to find parking for their big rigs, with a regional parking information management system along interstates in Kansas, Kentucky, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin.

The detailed list of awards includes a $20.8 million grant to the Texas DOT for rural transit. The Rhode Island DOT got $9 million to help build a multimodal travel plaza on I-95 in Hopkinton. DOTs in Missouri and Illinois share $10 million to help replace the 87-year old Champ Clark Bridge on U.S. 54 across the Mississippi River from Louisiana, Mo. to Pike County, Ill.

Other DOTs also received grants for passenger and freight rail, multimodal, rural transit and ferry projects.

New Bridge Closer to Reality Thanks to TIGER Grant

When MoDOT's Northeast District learned Missouri had been awarded a $10 million TIGER Grant to help fund a new Champ Clark Bridge, a resounding "YAY!" was heard throughout the region. Ten million dollars is a lot of money and will be divided evenly between MoDOT and Illinois DOT. IDOT has included their portion, approximately another $25 million,in its five-year construction program.

"We hope to be able to incorporate construction of a new bridge into our five-year program after we receive the financial forecast in January," said Northeast District Engineer Paula Gough.

Right now, though, MoDOT is getting ready.

"We are awaiting final approval from FHWA for the environmental assessment, and we are in the process of hiring a project director, then a project team, who will work with a consultant to help lead us through the design-build process," Gough explained.

Other than the statewide Safe & Sound Bridge Improvement Program, this will be the first design-build project to be done in the Northeast District. Design-build is a delivery method that includes hiring one contracting team to complete the design work and build the highway improvement under one contract. MoDOT provides the project goals, budget and schedule and the contractor team completes the work. This technique has been known to significantly save time and provide cost savings.

Click here or on the image above to view a video about the importance this grant will have on Northeast Missouri - Champ Clark Bridge.
Safer Roadways
Missouri Dept. of Transportation | (888) 275-6636
P.O. Box 270 Jefferson City, MO 65102-0270