October 29, 2015
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Watch Out For Little Ghosts and Goblins on Halloween
Halloween will be here before we can say "Boo!" Soon, costumed kids dressed as friendly ghosts, winsome witches and precocious princesses will be trick-or-treating in your neighborhood. Because children tend to focus on the excitement of Halloween and forget about safety, it's up to parents, caregivers and motorists to make sure that every little boy and girl has a safe and happy holiday.

It's important for adults and drivers to be even more alert during Halloween because so many kids are out, and they may not be watching for cars," said Bill Whitfield, executive committee chair for the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety. 

During the 2014 Halloween holiday Missouri had one fatality and four injuries involving pedestrians under the age of 16.

To avoid real-life Halloween horrors, remember the following:
  • Stay alert. Neighborhoods that don't normally have a lot of pedestrian and bicycle traffic may experience an increase on Halloween night.
  • Remember that kids are excited and may be trying to visit as many houses as possible in a short amount of time. They may forget to stop, look and listen as they cross the street.
  • Be cautious in areas where cars are parked along the side of the street. Trick-or-treaters may suddenly dart into traffic from between parked cars.
  • Wear bright, reflective clothing or decorate costumes and bags with reflective tape/patches.
  • Be patient, and SLOW DOWN.
Enjoy the Halloween holiday, but be on the lookout for those little goblins and caped crusaders. They may be superheroes, but they'll be looking to you to provide their safety.

For more information on highway safety, go to saveMOlives.com.
Halloween Trivia.
Did you know?
More candy is sold on Oct. 28 than any other day of the year.

The Village Halloween Parade in New York City is the largest Halloween Parade in the United States. The parade includes 50,000 participants and draws over 2 million spectators.

Oct. 30 is National Candy Corn Day.

It is actually rare for a full moon to occur on Halloween. Although, it is predicted this will happen in 2020.

While pumpkins are typically orange, they can also be green, white, red and gray.

Halloween is the second highest grossing commercial holiday after Christmas.
Social Media
New to Springfield
Diverging Diamond Opens in Springfield

The newest diverging diamond interchange at U.S. Route 65 and Battlefield Road in Springfield opened to traffic last month. A traffic signal was also added at Battlefield Road and Woodstock Avenue. The changes to this busy intersection will improve safety and traffic flow. 

Click here or on the image to see a short video of traffic flowing through the new interchange - Video.

You can view all the project information, including a live webcam at the intersection, on the website here - Diverging Diamond
OATS Celebrates New Springfield Facility

Multimodal Division Director Michelle Teal spoke last month at the open house for the new OATS facility in Springfield. More than 275 people celebrated the opening of the new facility.

The Southwest Region for OATS serves 17 counties including Barry, Barton, Christian, Dade, Dallas, Douglas, Greene, Jasper, Lawrence, McDonald, Newton, Ozark, Polk, Stone, Taney, Webster and Wright.
Have You Seen This?
One of 2015's winning entries in the contest titled World Art Games. Cassie Wang of New Jersey took 1st in State placement and 2nd in U.S. placement in the 10 to 13 year old category.
Youth Art Competition to Illustrate Air Sports In Harmony with Nature

Calling our aspiring artist students in Missouri. Get out your art supplies and create a piece illustrating the theme "Air Sports in Harmony with Nature" for the 2016 International Aviation Art Contest.

The contest challenges young people ages 6 to 17 to illustrate the importance of aviation through art. The U.S. portion of the art contest is sanctioned by the National Aeronautic Association (NAA), managed by the NASAO Center for Aviation Research and Education and sponsored by many other national aviation organizations.

All artwork must be done by hand and can be in any of the following media: watercolor, acrylic, oil paint, indelible marker pens, felt-tip pens, soft ball-point pens, inedible ink, Crayola or any similar indelible medium. Entries are judged in three age classes for creative use of the theme. Entries from Missouri youth will be evaluated by MoDOT employees. The winners will advance to national and possible international levels of the contest.

All artwork for the state competition must be postmarked and received by Friday,
Jan. 22, 2016. Missouri students submitting artwork should mail to the Missouri Department
of Transportation, Attn: Teresa Hall, PO Box 270, Jefferson City, MO 65102. For more information, call (573) 751-2589, send an email to s.hall@modot.mo.gov or visit the national sponsor's site, http://www.nasao.org/education/nasao-center-for-aviation-research-and-education/international-aviation-art-contest/.
MoDOT's beloved work zone safety mascot Barrel Bob not having one of his best days on the job after being  set on fire in an apparent early Halloween prank.
Fire Puts MoDOT Safety Mascot
Out of Commission

Motorists might have noticed that Barrel Bob, MoDOT's 10-foot tall orange mascot who works tirelessly to promote work zone safety, is missing from his post on U.S. Route 50/63 in Jefferson City.

Barrel Bob hasn't been kidnapped (which has happened before), but it appears he may have been victimized by an act of early Halloween villainy. The friendly work zone safety mascot was set on fire last week. Bob was discovered slumped over on the ground with severe burns on his legs and torso. One leg was completely melted and the other was damaged in the fire. Both legs will need to be replaced.

Bob was taken to a MoDOT facility, and according to those close to him, is receiving intensive repair. The mascot is expected to be out of commission for at least the next two weeks.

Barrel Bob didn't swear revenge, but he has vowed to return to his post and resume his job of spreading the important message of work zone safety as soon as he is able.

If you would like send Bob get well wishes, you can follow him on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/MOBarrelBob. You can also follow MoDOT's Central District on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/MoDOTCentralMissouriDistrict or on Twitter at @MoDOT Central for updates to Bob's condition.
View from the Chair
Legislative Leaders Speak in Favor of Transportation Funding
View from the Chair by Missouri Transportation Commission Chairman Stephen R. Miller

The Commission gathered recently in Poplar Bluff - the hometown of Senator Doug Libla and House Speaker Todd Richardson. It was great to be with the people of southeast Missouri on the campus of Three Rivers College. Speaker Richardson reminded all of us that our major industries in Missouri - agriculture, manufacturing, retail and tourism - all depend upon a robust transportation system. He noted that Missouri stands at the country's heart and at the confluence of a great network of rails, rivers and roads. This network is a precious resource that must be protected.

As our other speakers made clear, we are not investing in our transportation system as we should, as evidenced by the 641 critical-condition bridges in our state, including over 100 in Southeast Missouri. Four bridges across the state are currently closed and over 1,400 bridges have weight limits or lane restrictions. We must find a way to address the issue now.

Senator Libla noted how important recent improvements to Highways 60 and 67 have been to the communities throughout his district. To continue to maintain vital transportation infrastructure, we need long-term funding, he said, quick fixes won't work. He emphasized the importance of transportation investment to economic development - both retaining our current businesses and attracting new ones.

But the Senator emphasized that Missourians must move past merely acknowledging the problem and wringing their hands. They must work to find solutions, embrace them and work to get them enacted. He reminded us that in 1924, the voters spoke regarding their preferred method of funding road and bridge improvements - a motor fuel user tax. He recalled that transportation investment has always been a bipartisan issue. Of the four fuel-tax increases since 1924, two have been signed into law by a Democratic governor and two by a Republican governor. But unfortunately, there have been no adjustments in the last 20 years. Read More
Safer Roadways
MoDOT Prepares For Winter
With Statewide Drill

Snow is not in the local forecast yet, but MoDOT wants to be ready when winter weather is here. To prepare, MoDOT will test its readiness for the upcoming winter season with a statewide drill on Wednesday, Nov. 4.

The drill tests MoDOT's winter battle plan to ensure its readiness to get travelers back on Missouri roadways as quickly as possible after winter storms.

"Over 3,500 MoDOT employees are involved in our winter operations, including every maintenance crew across the state," said State Maintenance Engineer Becky Allmeroth. "The annual drill helps to make sure we all know our roles during a storm, and we can do our jobs successfully."

During the drill, MoDOT employees will react to a simulated forecast of significant snow for the entire state. The department's emergency operations centers will activate and maintenance employees will be deployed to their trucks. Read More.
Missouri Dept. of Transportation | (888) 275-6636
P.O. Box 270 Jefferson City, MO 65102-0270