July 7, 2016
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Kids urge adults to take turns and merge like a zipper in MoDOT video

Motorists will notice an increase in work across the Interstate 70 corridor this summer. Many of those work zones will involve merging, especially the I-70 Lamine River Bridges repair project west of Boonville. When encountering two lanes that merge into one, MoDOT is encouraging motorists to take turns and merge like a zipper.

Click above to watch a short video that shows how easy the zipper merge concept is to grasp. 
To show how easy the zipper merge concept is to grasp, MoDOT created a light-hearted and entertaining video of children reacting to various merging techniques, both good and bad. These techniques are demonstrated by adults in cardboard cars. The kids in the video came to the conclusion that it was best for the drivers to fill both lanes and simply take turns at the merge point.

When two lanes merge into one in near a work zone, most motorists start to merge as soon as they see warning signs and learn which lane is closed. In heavy congestion, MoDOT urges drivers to use both lanes up until the merge point, merging in a zipper-like fashion. Research shows driver frustration decreases, traffic moves more smoothly and congestion reduces by up to 40 percent when the zipper merge technique is used.

More information about the zipper merge can be found at Zipper Merge.
How Are We Dong? Rate Our Work Zones!


All motorists traveling through a work zone this summer are encouraged to participate in the online survey - Rate Our Work Zones - not while driving though!
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Major Project Update
I-70 travelers: Expect daily delays near Boonville starting July 12
Travel tools available to help

The bridges that carry Interstate 70 over the Lamine River near Boonville are due to get new driving surfaces and other repairs, work that will require closing one bridge at a time resulting in single-lane, head-to-head traffic on I-70 beginning July 12.


The bridge closures are expected to cause significant travel delays, especially on peak travel days, the biggest of which are Thursdays and Fridays. Traffic studies show westbound traffic will be impacted more than eastbound, due in part to more traffic traveling west and the steeper road grade in the westbound lanes.

MoDOT officials are strongly encouraging I-70 motorists to use alternate east-west routes, such as U.S. Routes 50 and 36, while the project is in progress.
 
When motorists use both lanes of traffic until reaching the defined merge area and then alternate in "zipper" fashion into the open lane, the overall length of the traffic backup could be reduced by up to 40 percent. Find out more about zipper merge here -  Zipper Merge.

The message boards along I-70 will alert motorists to the bridge work. In addition, a Smart Work Zone system is in place to keep motorists informed and traffic moving. The system uses cameras and sensors to determine travel times through the project limits and provide real-time travel updates to motorists via message boards. 

Visit the project website for all the details and for more tools that will provide traffic information to motorists:  Lamine River Bridge Repairs Webpage.
Did You Know This?
Citizens cautioned to not trespass on train tracks
Stay away, stay off and stay alive

Over the holiday weekend, four people in Missouri were hit and killed on train tracks. Three of the incidents occurred in the City of St. Louis and one in Ralls County near Hannibal. MoDOT, Missouri State Highway Patrol and Missouri Operation Lifesaver remind pedestrians about the dangers of disregarding railroad crossing laws and trespassing on railroad property.

"Collisions between vehicles/pedestrians and trains are tragic, but preventable," said Tim Hull, Missouri Operation Lifesaver State Coordinator. "Railroad tracks are private property and trespassing is dangerous, illegal and it can be deadly. If you See Tracks? Think Train."

Here are a few safety tips:
  • Do not walk on or over railroad property - this is trespassing!
  • Cross tracks only at designated pedestrian or roadway crossings.
  • Do not cross the tracks immediately after a train passes. A second train might be blocked by the first.
  • Never walk around or behind lowered gates at a crossing.
  • Stay alert around trains. No texting, earbuds or other distractions.
  • Never mix rails and recreation. Do not hunt, fish or bungee jump from railroad bridges or trestles.
  • Do not attempt to hop aboard railroad equipment at any time.
  • Do not take selfies or posed photography on or near tracks or railroad bridges.
  • Be aware trains do not follow set schedules.
Missouri Operation Lifesaver is a non-profit organization dedicated to eliminating collisions, deaths and injuries at highway-rail grade intersections and on railroad rights-of-way through public education, engineering and enforcement. To learn more about Missouri Operation Lifesaver, please visit us online at www.oli.org .
State Transportation Program focuses on safety, system preservation

The Statewide Transportation Improvement Program, or "STIP," approved today by the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission, is focused on safety and the preservation of the existing system of state highways and bridges.

The 2017-2021 STIP is the Missouri Department of Transportation's list of projects that are planned by state and regional agencies. The draft STIP was released in May for public review and comment. "It's our commitment to our customers for the next five years," said MoDOT Director Patrick McKenna.

And although it's a larger program than those approved the last two years, it still does not enable MoDOT to tackle high-priority needs like the reconstruction and expansion of Interstate 70, the investment in expansion projects that increase economic growth, create jobs and reduce congestion, or to stabilize its level of services and to improve the condition of its bridges and minor roads.

"We have a long-term insufficient funding challenge if Missourians want more from their state's transportation system," he said.

Read more here - STIP.
Transportation, It's Personal
Lester Goodin's personal story

As a farmer, business owner, board member and volunteer, Lester Goodin is busy man and a fixture in his Southeast Missouri community. Having a sound transportation system  is essential for Mr. Goodin to successfully operate his various ventures. 

Mr. Goodin is the owner of several hundred row-crop acres in Mississippi County where he has been a farmer for several decades. As part of his commitment to Mississippi County, Mr. Goodin also serves as a Board member on the St. John's Levee District. In addition, Mr. Goodin serves on the Board of Directors for the Southeast Missouri Food Bank, which provides food to the underprivileged across the entire Bootheel of Missouri. Mr. Goodin also owns the Wilderness Lodge in Reynolds County, which is a resort destination for individuals wanting to spend time on the Black River.

Read more about his personal transportation story here - Lester Goodin
Have you Seen This?
hOUR program focuses on keeping employees safe

The office of Highway Safety recently kicked off a new safety presentation called the hOUR Project. The hOUR Project takes approximately one hour of time to talk about something that is OUR problem - serious injury crashes and fatalities.

Geared toward businesses and organizations statewide, this presentation stresses the importance of keeping employees safe while working in company vehicles and when they're on their way to and from work. Topics of discussion include safety belt and cell phone usage and policies, aggressive driving and drowsy driving.

For more information, or to bring this project to your organization, contact Kelly Jackson at Kelly.Jackson@modot.mo.gov.

Watch a video introduction of the hOUR Project here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0rTTfN5mzIY.
MoDOT hosts historic bridge dedication

More than 100 attendees recently filled all lanes of the Bannister Road bridge to dedicate a small pedestrian bridge with a rich history.

The PowderMill Bridge over I-435 has been a labor of love between the community and MoDOT.

This project was so important to the community that the city and local groups were willing to stake dollars on it. Three Trails Village Community Improvement District invested approximately $600,000. Federal transportation enhancement funds added another $500,000, and MoDOT picked up the difference.

Although a small bridge, it is part of a much bigger picture. For one, it's a piece of an urban trail system that rivals most larger cities. It ties into the Metro Green bike and trail plan with the Mid-America Regional Council. It's also a link of three historic trails that converge in Kansas City - The Santa Fe, Oregon and California trails. The settlers headed west searching for land, gold or just a place of their own walked this same ground.

This project signifies more than a simple pedestrian bridge for this community. A once thriving area, it has seen considerable decline and loss of retail in the past twenty years since Bannister Mall Complex left. New retail and commercial and residential development is once again planned for this area. The Kansas City Police Department made an investment with their new station nearby. With the new Cerner complex rising in the skyline, this bridge will serve a revitalized corridor. And that is something transportation always strives to offer - building a stronger community.

Check out all the photos from the event here - Bridge Dedication.
Missouri Dept. of Transportation | (888) 275-6636
P.O. Box 270 Jefferson City, MO 65102-0270