July 19, 2018
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 Commission approves Statewide Transportation Improvement Program

The Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission has approved the 2019-2023 Statewide Transportation Improvement Program.

The STIP is MoDOT's list of projects that are planned by state and regional agencies. The draft STIP was released in June for public review and comment.

"The STIP represents our commitment to Missourians of the projects that will be developed and delivered over the next five years," MoDOT Director Patrick McKenna said.

The STIP builds on MoDOT's long-range transportation plan, financial forecast, asset management plan and the prioritization of project needs at the local level by planning partners.

Transportation Planning Director Machelle Watkins said the program includes 1,319 projects, which, for the most part, will maintain the system in the condition it is in today. On average, this STIP annually invests in 586 lane miles of interstate pavements, 1,065 miles of major route pavements, 2,754 miles of minor route pavements and 172 bridges.

Missouri has the nation's seventh largest state highway system with 33,856 miles of roadways and 10,403 bridges but ranks 46th nationally in revenue per mile.

The STIP details an annual construction program of $900 million per year for the five-year period, up from $850 million in Fiscal Year 2018. But it is still insufficient to meet the state's unfunded high-priority transportation needs that are estimated in MoDOT's "Citizen's Guide to Transportation Funding" at an additional $825 million per year.

"At current funding levels, we are able to maintain the system in the condition it is in today," McKenna said. "But if we want to improve the system, improve safety, and deliver projects that enable economic development and create jobs, it will require additional investment."

Read more here - STIP.
Take the challenge: when you get into any vehicle, buckle up your seat belt. If you are a driver, put the cell phone down. Join the 4,639 individuals and 383 businesses who have joined the movement so far.

Click below to accept the challenge!

Social Media
Have You Seen This?
Click above to watch the first installment of Barrel Bob's adventure to the Missouri State Fair.
Bob's big adventure

Barrel Bob has been itching to reunite with his favorite superheroes since they published their first comic book together last year. When he heard Safe Ride and Wonder Click were making an appearance at the Missouri State Fair this August, he knew he would have to earn his place among the Safety Friends. 

Bob's Big Adventure leads Barrel Bob through a work zone on his way to the fair, encountering the dangers his heroes along the highway face every day.

How will Bob remain safe in the work zone? What can he do to stop the distracted drivers? Will he earn his cape in time to meet the Safety Friends in Sedalia? 

Click the image above to watch the first leg of Bob's journey to the fair, and see the second and final leg of his journey in the Aug. 2 edition of Express Lane. Or, you can keep up with the adventure each Friday on Barrel Bob's Facebook page.

MoDOT and customers looking forward to MCS' OSOW permitting upgrade

Oversize Overweight permit customers spoke, and Motor Carrier Services listened. On July 30, MCS' upgrade of its OSOW online application system goes live. Improvements simplify the application process for customers and makes it easier for MoDOT to communicate information that is vital to the safe movement of large and heavy truck loads.

Customers will be able to use any internet browser - even from a mobile device. They'll find it easier to find an acceptable and safe route for their OSOW load with point-and-click maps and the ability to store identifying information for their power units in the system. This cuts data entry significantly.

For the first time, MoDOT will be able to identify how many OSOW loads are assigned to travel a given portion of a highway. That, along with new communication functions, will allow us to email customers to alert them to an emergency width, weight or height restriction. Improved routing features help customers evaluate and choose accessible route options on their own, without MoDOT assistance. Built-in advanced calculation functions should also reduce the number of load studies sent for evaluation.

Please note that from 4 p.m., Friday, July 27 to 7:30 a.m., Monday, July 30, MCS will not issue OSOW permits. The system must be taken down completely for the new functionality to install. If an emergency need for an OSOW permit arises, on-call agents will issue one following existing procedures. Visit the website http://www.modot.org/mcs/index.htm  or call 1-866-831-6277.
A reporter's recollection of the 1993 flood
Gregg Ochoa, MoDOT senior communications specialist

Some events are etched in your memory: Secretariat winning the Belmont Stakes by 31 lengths or the space shuttle Challenger explosion. For me, it was the flood of 1993.

From the time it started in early March until well into fall, the record rainfall caused an unprecedented number of highway and bridge closures in every Missouri county but two (Camden and Christian). Approximately 250 routes were closed at the same time, and nearly 1,000 highway sections were flooded.

The Mississippi River pierced the Pin Oak Levee east of Winfield. Photo by Anthony Souffles/St. Louis Post Dispatch, via Associated Press.
Much of the Show-Me State was under water.

I got a first-person view of the events of that summer 25 years ago. I was the editor of the Lincoln County Journal located in Troy. It was Saturday, July 3, and I got a call from a reader who said he had some great photos of the damaged Pin Oak Levee. The levee was located near Mississippi Lock and Dam 25 in Winfield.

I asked him to meet me at the newspaper office.

We had put the paper "to bed" on Friday. The long holiday weekend was on the horizon.

I had written a story that quoted the Corps of Engineers predicting a crest just six-tenths of a foot below the record of 1973. In that story, I also quoted some local residents who remembered the 1973 flood.

The deadlines at a weekly newspaper are not kind. Breaking news is often reported much after the fact.

But this was rapidly becoming a bigger story.

Read the full story here - Flood of '93. See photo here - Flood of '93 photos.
Safer Roadways
Respect the load - share the road
Commercial motor vehicle awareness campaign runs through summer

A statewide awareness campaign launched July 15 reminds Missouri motorists to drive safely around commercial motor vehicles. In turn, commercial motor vehicle drivers are reminded to obey traffic laws, use their seat belts, slow down and pay attention. 

Commercial motor vehicles make up 20 percent of Missouri's interstate traffic, carry goods from coast to coast and are a vital part of our nation's economy. When crashes involving tractor trailers happen, the disproportionate size of the large truck versus a car means those crashes can often involve serious injuries, or worse. Research shows that in the majority of these crashes, drivers of passenger cars unnecessarily endanger themselves by not paying attention and driving recklessly around big rigs. That's why it's so important for all motorists to drive safely around big trucks. Respect the load. Share the road.

There's no room for taking chances around big rigs - they require big room. 

"Please don't risk your life by driving aggressively around big trucks," said Jon Nelson, MoDOT assistant to the state highway and traffic engineer. "Please be patient and pay attention."
  • Don't cut off large trucks or buses. Make sure you can see the truck's cab lights in your rearview mirror before moving back into your original lane.
  • Stay out of the "No Zone." Big rigs have large blind spots on either side and up to 200 feet behind a vehicle. Pass only on the left side. 
  • Watch your following distance. Keep a safety cushion around trucks. Can you see the truck's side mirrors? If not, the driver cannot see you.
Sharing the road with commercial motor vehicles is a necessary part of travel. For more information on Commercial Motor Vehicle Awareness Campaign, visit www.saveMOlives.com.  
Fatality update

Did you know...There were 72 teens (age 15-19) killed in 2016, and 78 percent were not wearing seat belts!

Remind EVERYONE to buckle up, every time, every trip regardless of how long or short that trip might be.   

Statewide Fatality Totals 
as reported on the 
Missouri State Highway Patrol 
website as of July 15, 2018: 

2018 Totals as of 7-15-18 - 455
2017 Totals as of 7-15-17 - 481
2016 Totals as of 7-15-16 - 464
2015 Totals as of 7-15-15 - 420
2014 Totals as of 7-15-14 - 383
2013 Totals as of 7-15-13 - 368
Did You Know This?
A 1903 Jaxon Steam Car. Graphic From Wikipedia.
This day in transportation history

July 19, 1902 - The Jackson Automobile Company was established in Jackson, Michigan, by Byron J. Carter, George A. Matthews and Charles Lewis. 

The Brass Era automobile manufacturer, which remained in business until 1923, produced such vehicles as the 1903 Jaxon Steam Car.

Missouri Dept. of Transportation | (888) 275-6636
P.O. Box 270 Jefferson City, MO 65102-0270