March 31, 2016
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Merge like a zipper? Wait to merge, take turns in work zones
National Work Zone Awareness Week is April 11-15

Warmer weather equals the start of a busy season of construction and maintenance work on Missouri's roads and bridges. MoDOT reminds motorists of the importance of driving safely through work zones with the observance of National Work Zone Awareness Week, April 11-15. #NWZAW2016 #ORANGEFORSAFETY

Most motorists start to merge as soon as they see warning signs and learn which lane ahead is closed. When the highway is not heavily congested and traffic is able to move at the speed limit, it is best to merge early into the open lane. However, in dense, slow moving traffic, the open lane fills quickly and can back up for miles.

"Research shows driver frustration decreases and traffic moves more smoothly when motorists use both lanes and then alternate merging every other vehicle in "zipper" fashion into the open lane," said MoDOT Chief Engineer Ed Hassinger. "Using both lanes and merging like a zipper can reduce congestion up to 40 percent!"

The top five contributing circumstances for work zone crashes in 2015 continue to be following too closely, inattention, changing lanes, failed to yield and driving too fast for conditions. Motorists are required by the 2012 'Move Over' law to slow down or change lanes when approaching law enforcement, emergency response vehicles and MoDOT vehicles parked on the side of the road or in a lane.

Missouri interstates and major roads will have numerous work zones through the fall. Interstate 44 and Interstate 70 will each have more than a dozen work zones across the state. Many of these work zones are nighttime lane closures, but there are 17 major work zones expected to cause traffic delays on interstates and some major roads this year.

"Please pay attention, and drive safely in work zones. Wait to merge, and take turns with the other drivers on the road to reduce your delay time in work zones," said Hassinger. "We want you and our workers to make it home safe every day."

You can view MoDOT's work zone awareness webpage, including a video showing how to merge like a zipper here - http://www.modot.org/workzones/index.htm.

     Work zone safety is a serious matter. 
     Check out these current statistics:
  • I n 2015, eight people were killed in work zone crashes on state system routes and an additional one on the local system, for a total of nine fatalities
  • Between 2010 and 2015, 54 people were killed in work zone crashes on state system routes and an additional seven on the local system, for a total of 61 fatalities
  • Between 2010 and 2015, 3,222 people were injured in Missouri work zones on state system routes and an additional 908 on the local system, for a total of 4,130 injuries.
  • Since 2000, 16 MoDOT employees have been killed in the line of duty.
  • The best defense in a work zone crash, or any crash, is a seat belt. In 2015, 63 percent of vehicle occupant fatalities were not wearing a seat belt.
Safe Travels
Travel Safe
To help make your travel safer, visit MoDOT's traveler information map and find out what work zones you'll encounter before you go. 

Comment on
Work Zones
Motorists can comment on the quality of MoDOT's work zones with an online customer survey at - wz survey.

Top Work Zones
The list of the top traffic impacting work zones for 2016 is available here - top work zones.
Move Over
It's the Law!
The Move Over law protects law enforcement and emergency response vehicles parked on the side of the road. The law requires motorists to slow down or change lanes when approaching these vehicles. Since 2012, the law includes MoDOT vehicles parked with amber and white flashing lights.


The law is simple. If you see a flashing light on the side of the road, move over to give workers and emergency personnel plenty of room to stay safe. If you can't move over on a crowded highway, you should slow down as you pass them.
Social Media
Did You Know This?
Did you know?

New information from MoDOT's Transportation Planning Division estimates the cost of replacing the state highway and bridge system at $124.8 billion. Here's the breakdown:

Roadway

Bridges/Culverts



Signals/Lighting

Interchanges

Right of Way

Total
77,000-plus lane miles
 
75 million square
feet of bridge deck
and 3,000 culverts
 
25,000-plus

900-plus

350,000 acres
$90.3 billion

$13.6 billion



$1.3 billion

$1.9 billion

$17.7 billion

$124.8 billion
Have You Seen This?
Click above to watch a short video on how the City of Branson is working on a project to redesign and reconfigure the Route 76 tourism corridor.
New video features Branson's "Spirit of 76" project 
MoDOT's continued struggle to fund key transportation projects

Missouri's underfunded transportation system and its inability to fully participate in the $80 million "Spirit of 76" project along Missouri Route 76 (76 Country Boulevard) in Branson is the focus of a new video that is  part of MoDOT's "Tough Choices Ahead: What Really Matters" campaign.

The City of Branson is moving forward on a "complete street" project to redesign and reconfigure the Route 76 tourism corridor with minimal participation by MoDOT. The project's goal is to enable safe, attractive and comfortable access and travel for all users, including pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists and public transportation users.

You can view the video here - Sprint of 76
Free to a good home: Missouri 19 Crooked Creek Bridge

MoDOT is looking for a new home for the historic Crooked Creek Bridge on Missouri Route 19 in Crawford County.

The bridge, which was built in 1928, will be replaced with a new and wider bridge in 2017. The bridge is considered historic because it is eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places as an excellent example of an alternating vertical subtype of the Warren pony truss design.

Because of that eligibility, federal law requires any state proposing demolition of a historic bridge to first make it available for donation to a state, locality or responsible private entity. The bridge can be obtained by government entities, historical or civic groups or private citizens free of charge. The cost to remove the bridge or any of its parts is borne by the party obtaining the bridge.

"We encourage any individual or organization who may be interested in taking all or part of the Crooked Creek Bridge to submit a proposal for reuse," said Karen Daniels, historic preservation specialist.

Proposals are due June 1. Details about the bridge, as well as information about reusing a bridge or making a reuse proposal, can be found on MoDOT's Free Bridges website at http://www.modot.org/freebridges/.
Major Bridge Project Update
Closure of westbound Missouri River Bridge at Jefferson City to start April 15
Will impact travelers statewide

Closing the westbound Route 54/63 bridge over the Missouri River in Jefferson City and switching westbound traffic to the eastbound bridge will begin the evening of April 15, with the total closure of the westbound structure occurring before rush hour on Monday, April 18. Drivers will encounter lane closures on both bridges throughout the weekend as the contractor prepares for the full closure.

The bri
dge will be closed for painting and repairs for about four months and is tentatively scheduled to reopen on Aug. 12.

Westbound bridge traffic will be diverted to the eastbound bridge, which will be restriped to carry two lanes of eastbound and two lanes of westbound traffic. Speed limits will be reduced on and near the bridge.

"Getting everything in order to close the bridge will take a couple of days," said Patty Lemongelli, construction and materials engineer for the Missouri Department of Transportation's Central District. "We have to remove stripes and put down new ones, install concrete barriers and perform other work to switch traffic from one bridge to the other, so the closure won't happen overnight."

In addition to the bridge closure, the following access ramps will be closed:
  • All access ramps from Route 54/63 to and from West Main Street;
  • The eastbound on-ramp from McCarty St. to Route 54/63; and
  • The westbound on-ramp from Route W to Route 54/63.
Maps showing the closures can be found on MoDOT's website at www.modot.org/central

Read more.  
Safey
Pedestrian fatalities projected to spike 10 percent
Anticipated to be largest annual increase ever

The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) estimates a 10 percent increase in the number of persons on foot killed in traffic crashes in 2015, compared with the prior year. This annual GHSA Spotlight on Highway Safety Report provides the first look at 2015 pedestrian fatality trends based on preliminary data reported by all 50 state highway safety agencies and the District of Columbia. This latest report was authored by Richard Retting and Dr. Heather Rothenberg of Sam Schwartz Consulting.

"We are projecting the largest year-to-year increase in pedestrian fatalities since national records have been kept, therefore we are quite alarmed," said Retting.

Since the Fatality Analysis Reporting System was established in 1975, the year-to-year change in the number of pedestrian fatalities has varied from a 10.5 percent decrease to an 8.1 percent increase.

"Pedestrian safety is clearly a growing problem across the country. It is important to understand the data underlying these crashes so states and localities can apply the right mix of engineering, education and enforcement to counteract this troubling trend."

Read more of the GSA news release here - Pedestrian fatalities.
Missouri Dept. of Transportation | (888) 275-6636
P.O. Box 270 Jefferson City, MO 65102-0270