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Connections

September 10, 2015

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Commission Summary
by Bob Brendel

Central Office

Districts
Northwest
Northeast
Kansas City
Central
St. Louis
Southwest
Southeast

The Report Card from Missourians, conducted in late spring and early summer, shows that 87 percent of Missourians are willing
to pay more to support the states transportation system, but there is no consensus on how.
Transportation Planning Director Machelle Watkins presented the results to the Missouri Highways and Transportation
Commission at its meeting last week in St. Louis. The survey, last done in 2013, was conducted by phone to more than 3,500
randomly-selected persons.
The top choice was an increase in the state fuel tax (24 percent an increase of nine percent), followed closely by adding tolls to
some interstate highways (23 percent). Two years ago, the survey results showed that an increase in the general sales tax was the
most favored funding stream. Other new revenue sources supported were an increase in car registration and license fees (11.4
percent) and replacing state gas tax with a vehicle mileage tax (13 percent).
Specifically, when we asked them: What would you be willing to pay on a monthly basis additional for transportation? 65
percent indicated theyd be willing to spend another $5 or more a month to help fund transportation in the state, Watkins said.
Overall customer satisfaction was at 81 percent, a decrease of four percent from two years ago, and 85 percent said they trust
MoDOT to keep its commitments a seven-percent drop since 2010.
OTHER ITEMS
Road to Tomorrow Tom
Blair, St. Louis assistant district
engineer and leader of the Road
to Tomorrow team, updated the
Commission on progress made
since the initiative was
announced in early June. More
than 180 ideas have been
submitted suggesting a wide
assortment of innovations. About
one-third of those have merited
additional examination, and 1520 are being actively pursued to
see how they could possibly be
implemented. The team hopes to
have more detailed
recommendations by the end of
the year.
Consideration of Bids for
Road to Tomorrow team (left to right): Research Engineer Jennifer Harper, Intermediate
Transportation Improvements Communications Specialist Kellen Burns, St. Louis Assistant Engineer Tom Blair, Assistant to
the Resident Engineer in Kansas City James Pflum and Special Projects Coordinator Bob
State Design Engineer Eric
Brendel.
Schroeter reported to the
Commission the results of the August 21 bid opening. MoDOT received 35 bids on nine calls, all of which were taking-care-ofthe-system projects. The Commission awarded contracts to the low bidders.
Read the entire summary here - September Commission Summary.

Changes to MAPS Process


by Paul Imhoff
Last July, through an all user email by Matt Sonner, the Chair of the EAC,
it was announced that changes were being made to our performance
management process. The change is we will no longer be doing formal
mid-year ratings in the MAPS system in the fall, but we will conduct
informal performance feedback sessions with each of our employees in the
fall/winter, prior to Jan. 1.
With this change, our next formal ratings in the MAPS system will happen
in the spring of 2016, between April 1 and May 31. To help us with this
change, the Information Systems Division has transitioned all current midyear MAPS forms in the system into year-end MAPS forms for your use
next spring. This change was made last week.
For supervisors, your next responsibility for the performance management
process is to conduct the informal performance feedback sessions and
document these sessions in the employees MAPS files.
You can review the revised performance management policy at the
following link: Personnel Policy 6506, Performance Evaluation.

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For employees, if you have questions on these changes, please contact your supervisor or local Human Resources staff.

Missouris Number of Critical Condition


Bridges is Growing
by Bob Brendel
Just two-and-a-half years after the completion of the most intense bridge program in the states history, the number of criticalcondition bridges in Missouri is growing again.
After the latest round of bridge inspections, the number of bridges in critical need of attention has risen to 641 50 more than a
year ago. State Bridge Engineer Dennis Heckman says that trend is likely to continue.
When we completed the Safe &
Sound Bridge Improvement Program
in 2012, we stemmed the tide for a
while, he said. But we knew that
the curve would start going up again.
Safe & Sound made a dent; however,
it did not repair or replace all of the
states bad bridges. Now with a
shrinking construction budget, the
number of bad bridges is on the rise
again.
Missouri has 10,376 bridges on state highways, including 209 that are more than 1,000-feet long. While the Safe & Sound
program replaced or repaired more than 800 bridges over four years, 50 to 100 fall into the critical condition category each year.
Critical condition bridges are the states worst, and with continued deterioration, are just one or two steps from being closed.
To get ahead of the game, we should be replacing more than 100 bridges per year, Heckman said. Instead, our funding levels
are only allowing us to replace about 30. In 10 years, well have about 1,500 bridges on the critical condition list. Read More Critical Bridges.

Preparations are being made for MoDOT's first Stand Up for Safety Day, Oct. 8. The day's activities are being organized around
our five safety commitments: I'm Safe, What I Use is Safe, Where I am is Safe, My Customers Are Safe and So We Go Home
Safe.
Below is an idea of what some of the day's activiites might include based on our "I'm Safe" commitment. Click on the link to see
the ideas related to other commitments.
These are just some examples of what might be included. Your supervisors and management teams are working on the details for
what your specific activities will be as we take this day to focus on safety.
Im Safe
I will use my knowledge,
awareness and attitude
to make me a safe
employee.

Morning Safety Discussion


As a work unit or division, discuss the special safety message provided for Stand Up for Safety day
and view video.
Sharing Close Calls or Incidents
Employees should share close calls or incidents, even if theyve shared them before. Then talk about
what could have been done to achieve the same result but in a safer way, therefore avoiding the
close call. Sharing close call experiences with others in their work units and talking about what other
actions could have been taken may keep others safe.
For Office Workers
Sharing Close Calls or Incidents
Can share close calls or incidents such as building or parking lot/garage security issues, trip hazards,
co-workers suffering heart attacks or other sicknesses, etc. What could have been done differently to
improve safety?
Discuss importance of wearing shoes in the office at all times (some office staff slip off summer
footwear).
Can review personal health tips like Coventrys desk moves flier and other healthy lifestyle tips.
Results
Supervisors document the operations and close calls discussed and what ideas employees had to do
things differently to improve safety. Document healthy lifestyle tips and discussions shared with
employees.
Click here to see the rest of the examples - Safety Day Activities.

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New Medical Plan Option FAQs


More Frequently Asked Questions on the New High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) with a Health Savings Account (HSA)
option.
Employees are encouraged to review all of FAQs and other information on the website at
http://modot.org/newsandinfo/benefits.htm and attend one of the workshops being held in the districts and central office to see if
this new plan would be beneficial for you. You can also contact employee benefits staff at 877-863-9406.
Q. Is the employer contribution prorated for new
hires based on their beginning month of
employment?
A. Yes, the contribution will be prorated based on
their start date.
Q. How does your dental and vision costs apply
toward your deductible and out-of-pocket
maximums?
A. Dental and Vision costs can be paid through the
HSA, but they do not count toward your deductible
or out of pocket maximum.
Q. When will the employees be provided communication about the new plan offering so they have time to review and plan
in lieu of waiting for the fall meeting and only having a week or two to make a decision?
A. Communication plan is in progress. Information has been released through Connections and is posted on the Employee Benefits
internet and intranet pages.
There are workshops being conducted to learn about the plan. We will also be delivering information during fall meeting
presentations.
Q. Can current retirees enroll?
A. Yes, current retirees can enroll. They will not receive the HSA contribution from MoDOT/MSHP. They also cannot be enrolled
in Medicare or have a Medicare dependent.

View From the Chair


Progress on the 'Road to Tomorrow'
by Chairman Stephen Miller
Three months ago, in Kansas Citys historic
Union Station, we announced our Road to
Tomorrow initiative an effort by MoDOT to
inspire, attract and identify innovations for the
re-construction of Interstate 70 not only for
the purpose of building a smart highway for
the 21st century, but for identifying new
revenue sources. Last Wednesday, we gathered
in the shadow of another symbol of Missouris
transportation heritage the St. Louis Arch
to receive a progress report.
Since June, more than 190 ideas have been
submitted to MoDOT's "Road to
Tomorrow" (R2T) team. Some are technical
innovations that could be incorporated in the design and construction of a new roadway; others offer the opportunity to move
freight more efficiently; and still others propose different ways to fund the 200-mile project.

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The ideas have been screened and sorted by topic. For example: energy/utilities, trucking efficiencies, advertising,
data/communications, funding, alternative travel modes and freight choices. Nearly a third of them have been examined in more
detail, and 15 to 20 of those are being seriously studied to learn how they might benefit Missouri and I-70.
Read More - View From the Chair.

Safety Campaigns
by Kelly Jackson

Pledge Now to Focus on the


Road - Statewide Campaign
Educates on the Dangers of
Distracted Driving

Are you an advocate of driving distraction free?


Do you park the phone and drive the vehicle?
Well, your pledge to drive distraction free could
pay off big - with a brand new 2015 Ford Focus.
To help prevent distracted driving, the Missouri
Coalition for Roadway Safety has teamed up with
KRCG-TV and Joe Machen's Ford to bring the
problem into focus. From now until Nov. 6, the
coalition is urging drivers to Focus on the Road as part of a promotion to win a 2015 Ford Focus donated by KRCG and the
Machen's Dealership.
"Distracted driving is any activity that could divert a person's attention away from the primary task of driving," said Coalition
Executive Committee Chair Bill Whitfield. "It's also one of the leading factors in traffic crashes in Missouri and nationwide."
Read More - Focus on the Road.

Child Passenger Safety - It's


More Than Just a Law
National Child Passenger Safety Week is Sept. 1319. The Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety
wants to ensure all caregivers of young children
know the importance of buckling children in an
appropriate child restraint. Motorists can also
expect increased enforcement of Missouri's child
seat safety laws during this campaign.
In 2014, seventeen children less than eight years of
age were killed and 86 suffered serious injuries as
occupants in motor vehicle crashes in Missouri.
Thirty-one percent of the children killed were not
restrained in a car seat or safety belt.
Missouri law requires all children under eight to be
in an appropriate child safety seat or booster seat
unless:
They are at least 80 pounds.
They are at least 4'9" tall.
"All parents and caregivers need to understand the importance of booster seats. It's not just about following the law - booster seats
help prevent serious injury and may even save your child's life," said Bill Whitfield, chair of the executive committee for the
coalition.
Read moroe - Child Safety.

http://www.modot.org/connections.htm

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What's Happening
Benefits Update on the Way

The 2016 Annual Benefit Update is now available online on the


Employee Benefits Sharepoint site and internet.
You will also receive a hard copy at your home within the next
couple of weeks. Employees should watch for this in the mail.
If you have any questions after reviewing the information, you
can contact your district or division's benefits representative.

State Employee Training


Expand your job skills with a library resource training session
provided by the Missouri State Library Reference Services
Division. All resources covered in class are available at no cost
to state employees and can be used from work or on the go!
Check out this flyer for webinars, on-demand classes and more
Training.

Deferred Comp Update


When you think of employee benefits, you think of benefits
that you receive while youre, well, employed. But did you
know that the State of Missouri Deferred Compensation Plan
can be a lifelong employee benefit?
Click on the image to watch this months update on the topics
of: a lifelong benefit, auto enrollment report and staying
connected with the plan on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and
YouTube.

Sprint Discounts for State Employees


Switch to Sprint and get 4 lines with unlimited talk, text and 10GB of highspeed data to share all while on the Sprint network for less than
$100/mo. after Sprint waives the access charge. Its the Sprint Family Share
Pack. Click here for all the details Sprint Discounts.

September Service Anniversaries


30 Years
Brian A. Bottcher - NW
Charles H. Gaines - NW
Monte Dale Fisher - NE
Robert Charles Rhodes - KC
James D. Collier - SL
David L. Herbst - SE
Sherry L. Glastetter - SE
Mark L. Biesemeyer - CO
Paula A. Evers - CO
25 Years
Blaine K. Siddens - NW
Amy Susan Nash - KC
Phil Crawford Cain - CD
Julie Kay Nelson - CD
Robert C. Hoffmann - SW
Thomas Eugene Rutledge - SE
Karen M. Reinkemeyer - CO
Catherine Venita Morrison - CO

http://www.modot.org/connections.htm

20 Years
Travis A. Burns - NW
Keith Allen Killen - NE
Richard K. McKown - KC
Curtis R. Dunakey - SL
Patrick S. Turner - SW
David Ross Long - SW
Brent Lee Grandstaff - SE
Jeffery Carl Riegle - SE
David Eugene Musser - CO
John Stephen Cauwenbergh - CO
Keith Eugene Pigg - CO
Douglas Duane Abbott - CO
15 Years
Stephen L. Teter - NE
Mark A. Wortmann - NE
Dana Ann O'Maley - KC
John L. Sanders - CD
Westly P. McPeters - CD
Barry Owen White - CD
Bennetez Jermaine Meeks - SL
Dennis M. Murphy - SL
Christina Rose Stroyan - SL
Loyd C. Wilson - SW
Mark Henry Aufdenberg - SE
Scott D. Bronenkant - SE
Kerry P. Grogan - SE
Deanne P. Rickabaugh - CO

10 Years
Robin D. Wardlow - NW
Charles D. Leach - NW
Caleb C. Gilgour - NW
Amanda Marie Howe - NW
William Alan Elliott - NE
Alfred C. Battle - KC
Juan Yin - KC
Justin Edward Fagre - CD
Eric Jeffrey Denton - CD
Nicholas R. Lambert - CD
Kemmy M. Collins - SW
Cory M. Hildebrandt - SW
Thomas M. Turner - SW
James Ryan Freeze - SE
Brad W. Koch - SE
Michael Ray Reeder - SE
Thomas M. Barnard - SE
Timothy Calvin Ford - SE
Guy Thomas Pagel - SE
Oscar Lester Smith - SE
Russell A. Koestner - CO
5 Years
Larry Tadd Cunningham - NW
Adam Christopher Nold - NW
Jason Christopher Wood - NW
Cherie Beck - SL
Manuel Davis - SL
Gary E. Pettit - SL
William A. Hawkins - SW
David Paul McKnight - SW

9/10/2015

Connections - Central Office

Page 1 of 3

September 10, 2015

Home
Central Office

Charitable Campaign Pet Parade

Districts
Northwest
Northeast
Kansas City
Central
St. Louis
Southwest
Southeast

The results are in for the pet parade!! The five pets with the most votes invited to attend the pet parade during the Central
Office Charitable Campaign kickoff event are:

Buttercup (Jay Wunderlich)


Henry (Beth Ring)
Truman (Jim Allison)
Winston (Bill Dunn)
Wreck-It Raven (Roberta Broeker)

During the kickoff event, employees will be able to drop a donation into the pets jar they like the best. The pet with the
most money wins bragging rights and his/her owner gets to select the charity to receive the pet parade donations!
Charitable Campaign Kickoff Event
Sept. 15 at 11:30 a.m.
Chili dog lunch available

Healthy Aging
September Wellness Newsletter
Exercise keeps your muscles strong and your
body moving freely. Generally, the more
vigorously you exercise and the more time
you spend doing it, the greater your
endurance and heart health.
When your endurance is good, its easier to
sustain low to moderately intense activity
over a long period of time. And the ability to
do that is a sign that you have good
circulation, a high energy level, a strong
cardiovascular system (heart, lungs and
veins) and excellent overall health.
September is Healthy Aging Month. Read
this months Coventry wellness newsletter to
learn how to take steps to improve your
health.

Central Office Happenings


Third Annual Day of

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Remembrance Ceremony
Sept. 17 at 1:31 p.m.
Fallen Worker Memorial
just west of the Central Office
Show your support by wearing orange as we honor those
we have lost in the line of duty.

Mee Zone Events


Health Care and Your Retirement
Sept. 17 2 to 3 p.m.
By Brad Oxenhandler, Edward Jones Financial Advisor
Central Office Conference Room 100
The seminar will cover frequently asked questions, including:
What is the cost of health care during retirement?
How do I prepare for long-term care expenses?
How do I use insurance to address long-term care costs?
How do I develop a healthy retirement portfolio?
What are the steps I should be taking before Medicare?

How to East Less and Still Feel Satisfied


Sept. 24 2 to 3 p.m.
By Robin Gammon, Coventry Health Care Coordinator
601 W Main, Jefferson City
Training Room B, HR Annex
or from anywhere via video conference
Are you interested in eating less but dont want to give up your favorite foods? Well, you dont have to. Attend this event to
learn several strategies to help you eat less at work and home and still feel satisfied.
Sign up for both of these Mee Zone events using MoDOT U.

http://www.modot.org/connections_co.htm

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Connections - Northwest District

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September 10, 2015

Home
Central Office

Diversity Presentation

Districts

Northwest District employees recently had the opportunity to attend a diversity training on microagressions at the
Northwest District Conference Center featuring Latoya Fitzpatrick. Ms. Fitzpatrick is the coordinator in the Center for
Multicultural Education at Missouri Western State University.

Northwest
Northeast

In her role at the university, she challenges the campus and community to step outside their comfort zone while
appreciating the similarities and differences of those around them. Her presentation examined stereotypes, biases and
perceptions and how these all intertwine.

Kansas City
Central
St. Louis
Southwest
Southeast

Missouri Western State University's Latoya


Fitzpatrick presented on microaggressions to a full
house during a diversity workshop.

After the presentation, Fitzpatrick answered


questions from the attendees.

Flashing Yellow Arrows


Flashing yellow arrow signals are coming to St. Joseph soon. While the Northwest District did install one flashing yellow
arrow signal in Chillicothe, this is the first time they will be installed along a corridor in our district.
To help employees better understand the how's and whys of this project, presentations were held at the district office and
at our St. Joseph maintenance complex. Traffic Operations Engineer Jos Rodriguez and Senior Traffic Studies Specialist
Joseph Turner led the discussions about why this type of signal, why they're being installed along a corridor and the safety
benefits.
Outreach efforts to our local government partners and to the public will be held in the near future.
The signals should be fully installed and operational before Thanksgiving.

Employees from the St. Joseph maintenance complex


attended an early morning presentation on the
flashing yellow arrows.

A fully operational flashing yellow arrow signal


accompanied the presentations.

Asphalt Zipper
A demonstration of a new piece of machinery was held recently on Harrison County Route BB. An Asphalt Zipper was
mounted onto a loader and operated by MoDOT crews under the guidance of an asphalt zipper expert. Several employees

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Connections - Northwest District

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from maintenance and construction gathered to observe the demonstration. The asphalt zipper pulls up the existing asphalt
surface and grinds it into reusable material.
The zsphalt zipper website claims it can take projects that would normally take one week and completes them in less than
one day. It can be used on small patches to areas up to a half mile per day.

The asphalt zipper is mounted on the front of the


loader and pulverizes asphalt on chip seal surfaces.
Water is injected as needed through a spray bar,
which is why the tank is leading the loader on the
job.

After the asphalt zipper has passed, it leaves


reusable ground material in its wake, which can be
graded, shaped, compacted and then paved or
sealed.

Continuing Generator Installation

Contractors check the placement of the generator as


it is lowered onto bolts secured in the concrete pad.
Once fully operational, the new generator will be
able to power the district office complex in times of
emergency.

Work continues on the generator installation at the


Northwest District Office. A large crane lifted the
generator into place on the pre-poured concrete pad.

For more info

Comments & Suggestions

Marcia Johnson
Communications Specialist
Northwest District
816.387.2495
Marcia.Johnson@modot.mo.gov

We would like to hear from you. Send comments


and suggestions to Tammy Wallace at
Tammy.Wallace@modot.mo.gov.

3602 N. Belt Highway


St. Joseph, MO 64506-1399

Mission

To view or print other pages, click on the


links below:

Our mission is to provide a world-class


transportation experience that delights our
customers and promotes a prosperous Missouri.

http://www.modot.org/northwest/connections_northwest.htm

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Connections - Northeast District

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September 10, 2015

Home
Central Office

Let's "Face" It... We're MoDOT On AND


Off the Clock
With the extensive use of Facebook as a communication tool,
friends, family and MoDOT customers are connected 24/7. The
lines are blurred when it comes to communicating, because our
customers also know many of us outside of our profession. How
we handle these questions, comments, concerns, compliments, on
and off the clock, are what can contribute to making us a great
organization.

Districts
Northwest
Northeast
Kansas City

Bill Noyes, senior procurement agent in the general services


department at the Macon Regional Office, is well connected to
his community, so its no surprise a Facebook friend of his sought
answers to a MoDOT-related question.

Central
St. Louis
Southwest

Macon County Route T has been closed since Feb., 2015 at


Thomas Hill Lake due to significant deterioration and damage to
the concrete girders. This closure has made it difficult for many
area residents, as well as, visitors to the lake area.

Southeast

One weekend, a local resident contacted Bill Noyes via Facebook


inquiring if some changes could be made to the signage at that
closure.
Since the customer did not know who to contact, she was trusting that I would get her question to the correct individuals,
said Noyes.
And that is exactly what he did.
Bill forwarded the concern on to communications, the area engineer and the appropriate maintenance personnel. The signs
on the closure were evaluated that day, and it was decided we could make a change to help better communicate the closure
to motorists in the area. The changes were made the same day Bill forwarded her concern. The next morning, Bill received
a text from that same customer thanking him for our quick response.
Each person played an integral part in responding to the customers concern, that began with a communication to her
MoDOT friend on Facebook.

Around the District...

Representatives from Mack, Henderson and Rexroth


gave training to some Northeast District employees on
the new trucks that have arrived.

http://www.modot.org/northeast/connections_northeast.htm

Bridge rehabilitation continues on Salt River Bridge


on U.S. 61 near New London in Ralls County.

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A "brown cow" (or root beer float) fundraiser was


held on Wednesday at the district office for the
Northeast Employee Relief Fund (N.E.R.F.) to help aid
in the effort of providing financial assistance to
employee enduring catastrophic situations, such as
illness.

For more info

Comments & Suggestions

Marisa Ellison
Communications Manager
Northeast District
573.248.2502
Marisa.Ellison@modot.mo.gov

We would like to hear from you. Send comments


and suggestions to Tammy Wallace at
Tammy.Wallace@modot.mo.gov.

1711 S. Highway 61
Hannibal, MO 63401

To view or print other pages, click on the


links below:

Mission
Our mission is to provide a world-class
transportation experience that delights our
customers and promotes a prosperous Missouri.

http://www.modot.org/northeast/connections_northeast.htm

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Connections - Kansas City District

Page 1 of 1

September 10, 2015

Home
Central Office

Districts
Northwest
Northeast
Kansas City
Central

Unique Summit Street Bridge Creates


Challenges, Extends Construction Timeline
Bridge rehabilitation on the Summit Street Bridge over I-670 started in the early days
of summer with the plan to open within 30 days and thats when things got
interesting.
This bridge has something most do not, an engineered false bottom created to soften
the appearance for traffic below. It has a lovely art deco feel that marks many of
the iconic structures in the Kansas City skyline.

St. Louis

Known as an arched steel box girder, the false bottom creates a series of eerie, almost
submarine-like tunnels that traverse one end to the other. The tunnels are coated in
layers of dust untouched by human shoes until recently.

Southwest

Read the complete story on our blog On the DOT.

Southeast

MoDOT Celebrates One Year of No Crashes at


Routes 50 and 58 Thanks to J-turns
It was six crashes in 2012, six more in 2013, four crashes in 2014. All of them happened mere feet from the local high
school. It was a community fed up, looking for a solution.
The citizens of Centerview wanted a new interchange, an option that was unfunded
and unfeasible for MoDOT. They teamed up with MoDOT Area Engineer Mike
McGrath for an option that was proven to reduce traffic crashes, fatalities and
injuries and for an equitable price tag J-turns. A relatively newer engineering
solution, a J-turn allows motorists to cross traffic on busy routes more safely.
We were hoping to save lives and reduce possible injuries with this project, says
McGrath. We felt that something needed to be done now and the J-turn was the
best solution for the funds we have available. And a year later, not a single
accident.

A J-turn is an alternative to traditional roadway intersections. Instead of motorists


on the side streets crossing two fast-moving lanes of traffic to get to the opposing
traffic lanes, drivers turn right and will use a u-turn to go left.
In the case of Route 50 and Route 58, it was the right alternative for the job.
J-turns have proven to be a safer alternative to a traditional intersection on a four-lane highway because they essentially
eliminate right-angle crashes while lessening the severity of other crash types. Angle crashes can be severe, and frequently
lead to traumatic injuries and even fatalities. In fact, the installation of J-turns at similar intersections throughout Missouri
and the nation have shown a substantial decrease in fatal and serious injury crashes.

For more info

Comments & Suggestions

Melissa Black
Communications Manager,
Missouri Department of Transportation
Melissa.Black@modot.mo.gov
P: (816) 607-2027
F: (816) 365-0860

We would like to hear from you. Send comments


and suggestions to Tammy Wallace at
Tammy.Wallace@modot.mo.gov.

600 NE Colbern Road


Lee's Summit, MO 64086

Our mission is to provide a world-class


transportation experience that delights our
customers and promotes a prosperous Missouri.

To view or print other pages, click on the


links below:

Mission

http://www.modot.org/kansascity/connections_kansascity.htm

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Connections - Central District

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September 10, 2015

Home
Central Office

Districts
Northwest
Northeast
Kansas City
Central
St. Louis
Southwest
Southeast

New Radio System Installed at District


Out with the old and in with the new. This adage is
especially useful when applied to emergency
communications equipment.
The radio is a vital tool during times of disaster or
other emergencies, as well as serving as another
form of communication in areas where cell phones
do not have reception.
Recently, a new dispatch radio technology, the
Zetron Max Dispatch System, was installed at the
district office. The new system replaced an obsolete
console radio system that was in need of an
upgrade.
The Zetron Max system is being installed as a part
of a statewide dispatch upgrade. Radios for field
staff will remain unchanged and unaffected by the
new system.
Replacing the old system was logical and costeffective, according to MoDOT Traffic Liaison
Engineer Rick Bennett.
Our dispatch consoles were nearly 20 years old,
said Bennett, and there was quite a learning curve
to use them. It was especially a difficult system for
new employees to learn. The Zetron Max system is
much more user friendly for both new and seasoned
operators.
The Zetron Max system allows for easier upgrades,
replacement and repair.

The old console radio system is pictured in the first frame, while the
new computerized Zetron Max Dispatch System is pictured in the
second frame.

The new system also simplifies the equipment setup at a number of our radio tower sites," said Bennett. "This should
improve reliability and make troubleshooting easier. Also this computerized system is connected to the MoDOT network, so
we can make any system upgrades or changes remotely, as needed. We can also do a lot of troubleshooting remotely, too.
Another helpful feature of the Zetron Max system is the ability for every district to have access to the entire MoDOT radio
network. Similar to the bucket system, where customer service calls from one district go into a bucket that can be
answered by any district, the new radio system allows radio calls to be answered by any district for any area of the state.
This will allow any district or Central office to talk directly to field people anywhere on the MoDOT radio if needed.
This is especially helpful during times of emergency or disaster if the affected district gets overwhelmed, said Bennett.
Before, if one district is overwhelmed and another district or Central Office needs to help out on the radio, they couldn't.
Under the new Zetron Max system, now they can.

Containing the Brine at Williamsburg

http://www.modot.org/central/connections_central.htm

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A new brine containment facility is being built at Williamsburg that will allow us to store up to 30,000 gallons of salt
brine/geo-melt at this facility. This will help minimize our salt usage, as well as help get roads back to a near-normal status
quicker. It should also help minimize the amount of time plows need to be on the pavement.

A Thank You Letter From the Wankums


Allen Wankum, senior facilities operation specialist, and his wife, Lois, share their thanks following Lois surgery to receive
a new kidney and pancreas in a note below:

http://www.modot.org/central/connections_central.htm

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Connections - Central District

Page 3 of 3

Around the District


Maintenance Superintendent Ken Strube
sent in this photo of a self-propelled, self
driving wide load that recently passed
through his area. It was a transformer
headed to the Bland substation, north of
Owensville on Missouri Route 19. The
trailer and payload weighed 460,000
pounds and was 20 feet wide. The trailer
was escorted by the Highway patrol and e
provided message boards for advance
warning to the public. The trailer averages
1.3 mph and according to Ken, it was the
talk of the area!

Columbia Senior Construction Inspector


Susan Ball is works on changing a
message board for motorists on U.S. Route
63.

For more info

Comments & Suggestions

Sally Oxenhandler
Communications Manager
Central District
573-522-3375
Sally.Oxenhandler@modot.mo.gov

We would like to hear from you. Send comments


and suggestions to Tammy Wallace at
Tammy.Wallace@modot.mo.gov.

1511 Missouri Boulevard


P.O. Box 718
Jefferson City, MO 65102

Mission

To view or print other pages, click on the


links below:

Our mission is to provide a world-class


transportation experience that delights our
customers and promotes a prosperous Missouri.

http://www.modot.org/central/connections_central.htm

9/10/2015

Connections - St. Louis District

Page 1 of 2

September 10, 2015

Home
Central Office

Right of Way Employee Helps Others


By Sharing Story
by Shaunda White

Districts
Northwest
Northeast
Kansas City
Central
St. Louis
Southwest
Southeast

Though her childhood did not always give her a reason to be happy, Tanya Fipps can now be seen on any given day walking
through the St. Louis district office building with a genuine smile on her face. Fipps, St. Louis district real estate appraiser,
is now sharing her childhood story as a way to give back to the community and help others in similar situations.
As a teenager, Fipps faced some challenges that landed her in a shelter. At the age of 15, she went to live at Youth
Emergency Services (YES) in University City. This situation seemed like the lowest point in her life, but it actually became
the turning point in her life. The shelter, YES, not only provided for her basic needs, it also helped Fipps attain the skills
needed to live successfully on her own.
As an adult, Fipps never forgot how YES changed her life and
became a board member for the organization. Eventually YES
merged with Epworth Children and Family Services.
Epworth provides the St. Louis community with essential youth
development services that help thousands of children overcome
severe emotional and behavioral challenges caused by abuse or
neglect. Their mission is to help youth and families find strength,
break through obstacles and build brighter futures.
Both YES and Epworth keep their organizations running through the
financial support they receive from United Way.
As a former Epworth board member, Fipps was recently asked to
share her personal story at a United Way rally. She did not hesitate to
accept the offer.

Tanya Fipps speaks with Burns & McDonnell


employees at their United Way rally on Sept. 8.

I am so excited to be able to help raise awareness about agencies


that assist needy families with children. I hope that sharing my story
will motivate people to donate to these organizations so that they can keep providing services that change lives, as they did
mine, said Fipps.
Epworth Children and Family Services is a participant in the Missouri State Employees Charitable Campaign (MSECC).
Employees wishing to donate will have the opportunity to give to this organization, as well as many others, at the districts
Fall meetings.

Maintenance Workers' Compassion


Inspires Co-Worker
To some, maintaining the roadsides may be just part of a job routine. That is not
the case for Wentzville maintenance worker Jake Bummer. Recently, he provided
extraordinary care for a roadside memorial that compelled his co-worker to take a
picture to capture the moment.
Christine Scholz, Wentzville maintenance crew leader, works with Bummer and
is the employee that took the picture.
I couldnt resist taking the picture. It warmed my heart to see the special care he
was providing to a roadside memorial of someone that he did not know, said
Scholz.
Roadside memorials commemorate the site where a person died suddenly or
unexpectedly. The memorials not only honor loved ones killed in automobile
crashes, but they also remind motorists to drive safely.
I am honored to receive this recognition. It really made me feel good to provide
care to an item that holds so much value, said Bummer.
The memorial sign Bummer provided care for is located at southbound Route 61
and Route W in St. Charles County.

http://www.modot.org/stlouis/connections_stlouis.htm

Jake Bummer takes his time with the


roadside memorial located at Hwy 61 &
Hwy W in St. Charles County.

9/10/2015

Connections - Southwest District

Page 1 of 2

September 10, 2015

Home
Central Office

Southwest District at Work

Districts
Northwest
Northeast
Kansas City
Central
St. Louis
Southwest
Southeast

GETTING OUT OF THE OFFICE Southwest District


Engineer Becky Baltz (center) talks with Ozark
Seasonal Maintenance Worker Brian McFarlin (right)
and Ozark Maintenance Supervisor Brian Lambert
(left) during a patching operation on Christian Route
T near Oldfield on Aug. 24. Baltz was visiting the
work zone to learn more about flagging operations.
Click the image above to view a short video about
her experience.

I AM A CONVERT Marshfield Maintenance Crew


Leader Mark Adams recently returned to work after
an incident where the distributor he was driving
rolled over June 22 in Webster County. As a result of
the crash, Adams sternum was broken, but he says
it would have been much worse if hed not been
wearing his seatbelt. In a safety video, he said he
was not a regular seatbelt user in his private vehicles
and was only wearing one that day because of
MoDOT policy. Click the above image to see more
about his story in a short video.

HELLO, HOW MAY I HELP YOU? Senior Customer


Service Representative Becky Walsh (left) and
Customer Service Representative Tonya Staeger man
the phones and front desk at the Southwest District
Office, helping customers get the information they
seek. (Photo/David Mitchell)

NEW EQUIPMENT Senior Information Systems


Technologist Blaine Doss (center) directs a delivery
crew with where to place a new plotter printer at the
District Office. (Photo/David Mitchell)

SPREADING THE WORD Springfield Transportation


Project Designer Mark Mais (left) explains
construction of a new diverging diamond interchange
at U.S. Route 65 & Christian County Route CC/J at a
public meeting Sept. 3 in Ozark. Construction of the
new $8.3 million interchange is scheduled to begin
the week of Sept. 21 with completion in June 2016.
(Photo Angela Eden)

#ILookLikeAnEngineer Southwest District Engineer


Becky Baltz is turning to other female engineers in
the district to look for ways to encourage young
women to consider engineering as a career. The
endeavor is a result of outreach efforts at LoganRogersville High Schools Women in Engineering
through the Project Freeway: U.S. Route 60
Rogersville design-build project. (Photo/David
Mitchell)

http://modot.org/southwest/connections_southwest.htm

9/10/2015

Connections - Southeast District

Page 1 of 2

September 10, 2015

Home
Central Office

Districts
Northwest
Northeast
Kansas City
Central
St. Louis
Southwest
Southeast

Customers Express Thanks for Southeast


Maintenance, Construction
Despite declining transportation revenues and questions about the
future of Missouris transportation system, Missourians still
experienced a very active construction and maintenance season in
2015.
For maintenance crews, this time of year has meant mowing, striping
and working to hold the roadways together as long as possible with the
limited funding for major projects.
For construction, this season has been filled with resurfacing and
overlay projects, bridge replacements, and intersection and shoulder
improvements, as well as roundabout projects in Poplar Bluff and
Kennett.
This work has not gone unnoticed by Missourians, as the Southeast
District has received calls, Facebook posts and even cards expressing
appreciation.
Here are a few kudos to the Southeast Districts maintenance crews:

Route Z bridge over McGee Creek in Wayne County

Thanks for the excellent striping of roads. The yellow lines in middle
and white lines on outside of roads greatly increase safety, especially
with our weather in recent months with dense fog in mornings and rain
at night. This helps drivers see that they don't go over the middle line
and don't fall off the sides of the roads. You are doing a great job.
Thanks. Mr. Larry Vaughn of Ste. Genevieve
A customer called and wanted to thank us for the mowing we did. He
said this is the best mowing he has seen in a while and he wanted us to
know we did a great job!! Great job MoDOT! Keep up the great work.
Regarding Route JJ in Howell County
Bill and Pat Patillo live on Route PP off Hwy 63 in Howell County.
Mr. Patillo would like to pass along a huge thank you to all of the West
Plains crew mowing the right of way on Route PP. He said that their
road has never looked better than it does now. THANK YOU ALL...
Mr. and Mrs. Patillo of Howell County

Route C bridge in Mississippi County

I just want to thank you for being so quick about filling the pot holes I
sent an email about yesterday. This is fabulous service, and I really
appreciate it. Lori Brees of Steele
I greatly appreciate the grass cutting on Hwy 8 and P in Park Hills. I
gave them a thumbs up when I went by there. Ms. Roberta Lord via
Facebook regarding Park Hills
Dear Andy. Tears are shed for sorrow and sometimes joy!! I am not
crying now.(I dont want to get my card wet.), but I have shed tears
of joy for the excellent job our MoDOT boys have done. Danny was
especially attentive to my needs. Thank you so much for correcting my
problem. I have told some of the Chamber of Commerce about your
quick response, and they too were very appreciative. Thank you and
Gods blessings. From a 92-year old lady, Janice Christakis. Ms.
Christakis regarding driveway entrance repair work completed by
Marble Hill Maintenance
Click here to view the card from Ms. Christakis >

Progress on Route 158 bridge in Harviell, Mo. on Aug.


26.

Several recent bridge openings have also garnered attention of area


motorists via Facebook. One of the most recent bridge openings on
Route 61 over Hughes Creek in Cape Girardeau County received over
100 likes and 100 shares, in addition to numerous comments.
Some of the comments included:

http://modot.org/southeast/connections_southeast.htm

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Connections - Southeast District

Page 2 of 2

Thanks it's smooth!! Debbie Niswonger


I LOVE YOU MODOT!!!!!!!!!!!! Jennifer Kerns Morrison
Was on the bridge Friday. Good improvement. Gerry-Ginger
McCloud
I never thought the opening of a bridge could make me so HAPPY!!!!!
Jennifer Kerns Morrison

Route 61 bridge over Hughes Creek in Cape


Girardeau County

U.S. Senator Blunt


Visits SE Missouri

Wings Over Hall


Airshow

U.S. Senator Roy Blunt recently paid MoDOT and local County
Commissioners a visit to discuss his desire for a long-term
transportation bill. As reported in the AASHTO Journal, a
long-term highway bill will be a hot topic of discussion in the
upcoming legislative session. Congress went back into
session this week. The current bill will expire Oct. 29, and the
current push is for Congress to develop a multiyear surface
transportation bill. To learn more, the AASHTO article can be
accessed at:
http://www.aashtojournal.org/Pages/090415congress.aspx.

Executive Assistant Doris Dumey and her husband, Craig,


recently helped commemorate the 70th anniversary of the
end of World War II at the Wings Over Hall Airshow. The
couple parachuted out of a Beech 18 airplane from 5,000
feet. Doris flew the Tennessee flag, and Craig flew the
American flag, landing on Arnold Field (formerly part of
Dyersburg Army Air Base) in Halls, Tenn. This is the third
year Doris and Craig have jumped at this airshow.

For more info

Comments & Suggestions

Nicole Thieret
Communications Manager
Southeast District
573.472.6632
Nicole.Thieret@modot.mo.gov

We would like to hear from you. Send comments


and suggestions to Tammy Wallace at
Tammy.Wallace@modot.mo.gov.

2675 N. Main Street


P.O. Box 160
Sikeston, MO 63801

Mission

To view or print other pages, click on the


links below:

Our mission is to provide a world-class


transportation experience that delights our
customers and promotes a prosperous Missouri.

http://modot.org/southeast/connections_southeast.htm

9/10/2015