September 28, 2017
Top of the Page
Missouri crews return from helping with Florida clean up
                                                           
The 58 MoDOT employees and 18 Missouri Department of Natural Resources' State Parks employees have returned home from Florida after more than a week's worth of helping clear roads and parks in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma.
            
The MoDOT employees from across Missouri left for Florida on Sept. 12. The crews used a variety of equipment such as loaders, road tractors, backhoes and chainsaws to clear debris off roads from downtown Miami through Coral Gables to Homestead in southeastern Florida.
           
MoDOT crews help clear debris off roadways in downtown Miami.

"I'm so proud Missouri could assist in Florida's time of need," said MoDOT Director Patrick McKenna. "Missourians from MoDOT and MoDNR demonstrated the true spirit of public service with their willingness to sacrifice precious time with their families to go sight unseen to help another state."
            
During their week-long deployment, the Missouri State Parks team worked in two of Florida's state parks, cleaning up fallen trees and other debris left by the Category-4 storm. According to reports, 168 of the state's 174 state parks were closed due to storm damage. Missouri State Parks crew started working at Dade Historic Battlefield State Park between Tampa and Orlando. The crew then moved to Anastasia State Recreation Area near St. Augustine in northeast Florida where they worked for the remainder of their deployment. They returned to Missouri on Tuesday, Sept. 19.
         
"After Hurricane Irma struck, Florida asked for help with the cleanup, and Missouri responded," said Missouri State Parks Director Ben Ellis. "With very little notice, 18 of our folks paused their daily lives, packed up and headed to Florida to help others in need. We are happy to have helped clean up two of Florida's state parks, and we couldn't be more proud of our team's hard work and dedication."
           
The Florida Department of Transportation requested assistance from any available state on Sept. 9 as Hurricane Irma was approaching their state. Missouri was one of three states, including Delaware and Maryland, to send staff. This is the largest MoDOT deployment to assist another state. A small crew was sent to help Florida with signal repairs after a hurricane in 2005.
Join the Movement!
Take the challenge: when you get into any vehicle, buckle up your safety belt. If you are a driver, put the cellphone down.  Join the 996 people (224) of which represent business) who have taken the pledge so far. 

Click below to accept the challenge!

Social Media
Did You Know This?
Gov. appoints new commissioners
 
Last week, Gov. Eric Greitens appointed two individuals to the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission - Bob Brinkmann and Terry Ecker.

Brinkmann
is the CEO of R.G. Brinkmann Company, a general contracting and construction management firm he started in 1984. Brinkmann is on the board of the St. Louis Police Foundation, President Emeritus of the Board of Trustees at Missouri University of Science and Technology and was previously on the board of Junior Achievement. He holds a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering from Missouri University of Science and Technology. Brinkmann replaces Ed Hillhouse, who was appointed in December 2016, but whose appointment was withdrawn in January. He resides in St. Albans in Franklin County.

Ecker is President of Ecker Farms, Inc., in Elmo, Mo. He served as agriculture liaison for Congressman Sam Graves office. Ecker holds a bachelor's degree in agriculture economics from the University of Missouri-Columbia. Ecker replaces Mary Nelson, who had continued to serve past her term expiration on March 1, 2017.
 
The terms of both Brinkmann and Ecker will end March 1, 2023, and both men are Republicans.
Off the Road News
Rail safety week reminds Missourians to see tracks, think train

For most of us, buckling up when driving or staying on the sidewalk while we're out for a stroll are automatic safety habits. But did you know there is another real - and potentially life-threatening - hazard to drivers and pedestrians? It's the danger we don't often consider: driving or walking near train tracks.
            
Federal government statistics show that about every three hours in the U.S., a vehicle or person is hit by a train. To raise awareness of the need for caution near tracks and trains, the first  U.S. Rail Safety Week will take place this year from Sept. 24-30.
           
"Collisions between vehicles or pedestrians and trains are preventable," said Missouri Operation Lifesaver Executive Director Tim Hull.  "Missouri law enforcement agencies and railroad special agents will be out monitoring railroad crossings during Missouri Rail Safety Week.  We are hoping to change the public's mindset regarding rail safety.  Rail Safety Week is a great opportunity to get our message out there!" 
                    
Remember, making the right decisions near railroad tracks can truly be the difference between life and death, today - and every day. Keep yourself, family and friends safe by following Operation Lifesaver's top five rail safety tips:
  1. Look and listen for a train as you approach all railroad crossings - obey all signs, warning lights and gates.
  2. Trains are quieter and faster than you think - never try to beat a train.
  3. Because of their size and weight, it can take a mile or more to stop a train.
  4. Always expect a train on any track and avoid distractions when you approach a crossing.
  5. Railroad property is private property. Walking on the tracks not at a designated crossing is illegal and dangerous.
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  www.oli.org .

For more information, visit Rail safety week.
MoDOT's statewide survey for Long Range Transportation Plan end Oct. 11

MoDOT has launched a statewide survey to solicit public input about the vision for the state's transportation priorities.  The Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) is a federally-required process that sets the state's 25-year vision for transportation.

MoDOT is gathering public input for the plan through an online survey tool. The survey - which takes approximately 10 minutes to complete - was developed as a simple way for all Missourians to weigh in. The survey is available starting today and will remain open through Wednesday, Oct. 11. Interested citizens can take the survey by visiting  https://modotlrtp.metroquest.com/  on a computer, smartphone or tablet. MoDOT encourages those who need access to a computer to visit their local public library or MoDOT District Office. MoDOT District Offices will also have paper copies of the survey available.

The final plan will be available for public comment in the spring and will be presented to the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission for review and consideration for approval at its May 2018 meeting.

Additional questions about the survey and the long range planning process can be addressed by calling customer service centers at 1-888-ASK-MoDOT (275-6636) or by mail to Transportation Planning, P.O. Box 270, Jefferson City, MO 65102.
Roadway Safety?
Get ready to accept the challenge
Buckle Up / Phone Down day planned

Don't forget that Friday, Oct. 20, 2017 is slated as "Buckle Up/Phone Down Day." The challenge is simple: when you get into any vehicle, buckle up your safety belt. If you are a driver, put the cellphone down. Turn it off if you have to. No texting and no talking unless hands free. By buckling up and putting your phone down - even for one day - you will be doing your part to make Missouri's roads safer. Let's save lives and turn this day into a week, a month and eventually every trip, every time. 

Texting increases the risk of car crashes by 50 percent. Sixty-seven percent of this year's fatalities involved unbuckled drivers or passengers that may have survived if they were only properly restrained. The loss of one life is too many.

Join the movement and stand up and be counted on Buckle Up/Phone Down Challenge Day Friday, Oct. 20. 

Take the challenge here - Buckle Up/Phone Down.
Fatality Update

Did you know...52 cities and two counties in Missouri have passed a primary safety belt ordinance...so BUCKLE UP!
Statewide Fatality Totals
as reported on the
Missouri State Highway Patrol
website  as of Sept. 24, 2017:

2017 Totals as of 9-24-17 - 644
2016 Totals as of 9-24-16 - 684
2015 Totals as of 9-24-15 - 608
2014 Totals as of 9-24-14 - 536
2013 Totals as of 9-24-13 - 550
2012 Totals as of 9-24-12 - 615
Have You Seen This?
Missouri Dept. of Transportation | (888) 275-6636
P.O. Box 270 Jefferson City, MO 65102-0270