October 9, 2014

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HEC-TV Special on River Bridge Wins Regional Emmy

Although the Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge has won several engineering awards since its completion in February, it recently received some unusual recognition.

It is the subject of an Emmy-winning documentary.

Stan Span

The Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge was the subject of a Emmy-winning documentary. See more photos of the bridge on MoDOT's flicker site - Stan Span. Photos by Cathy Morrison.

Higher Education Channel TV, or HEC-TV, won a Mid-America Regional Emmy in the “Public/Current/Community Affairs – Feature/Segment” for their program “A Bridge to the Future.” The segment features video and interviews about the construction of the bridge and video of the completed bridge in use.

“Educational programming such as this is a great way to speak to future designers and engineers. It was a little daunting to do an hour-long live show, but the people of HEC-TV were great to work with,” said Randy Hitt, Mississippi River Bridge project director.

HEC-TV is a St. Louis television station that produces programming intended to “to strengthen and promote the education, arts, and cultural communities in the St. Louis Metropolitan area,” according to its website.

In addition to “A Bridge to the Future,” the station also produced two hour-long programs about “The Science Behind the Mississippi River Bridge.” In those programs, they spoke with the team who designed and oversaw construction for the Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge.

The Mid America Regional Emmy's were presented Sept. 27 in Kansas City.
A Bridge to the Future
The Science Behind the Mississippi River Bridge, Part 1
The Science Behind the Mississippi River Bridge, Part 2

Remember to Vote for the Stan Span
The Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge has been selected as one of 10 national finalists in the 2014 America’s Transportation Awards competition, and MoDOT needs your help to win. It is time to vote!

The People’s Choice Award will be selected through online voting which ends Oct. 24. The winners will be announced at the AASHTO Annual Meeting on Nov. 23, 2014. You can vote up to 10 times each day through AASHTO's online awards link - Vote for the Stan Span.

Make sure to select MoDOT’s entry shown as MO/IL: Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge – Mississippi River Bridge on the voting page.
Messages Flash Warning of Incidents
message board
Dynamic message signs across Missouri now include a blinking first line to grab motorists’ attention and warn them of incidents on the road ahead. In this example, the line “HEAVY CONGESTION” would blink slowly.
MoDOT’s more than 250 dynamic message signs are testing a new way to get motorists’ attention. When there are incidents or work zones with lane closures on the interstates, MoDOT’s Transportation Management Centers display warning messages on the dynamic message signs. These messages include information warning motorists of the incident or work zone, what lanes are closed and either alternate routes or potential delay information. Starting in October, the first line of the message will flash to help these critical messages stand out.

The new practice came from an employee suggestion in an effort to draw more attention to DMS messages pertaining to incidents and other appropriate lane closure situations. The flashing, which is about the same pace as a flashing arrow board, will further distinguish the incident messages from the general public safety messages.
Director of Highway Safety Receives Lifetime Achievement Award
Director of Highway Safety Leanna Depue was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award by Chief Engineer Ed Hassinger during the recent Blueprint Conference held in St. Louis.
It was no surprise the 2014 Blueprint Conference, sponsored by the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety, was successful. With more than 300 in attendance and sessions on a variety topics relative for a diverse audiences, attendees’ expectations were definitely met.

What was a surprise, at least for her, was recognizing Director of Highway Safety Leanna Depue with a Lifetime Achievement Award, presented at the end of the awards luncheon by MoDOT Chief Engineer Ed Hassinger.

Via video, several of Leanna’s colleagues, including ones from Federal Highway Administration and the National Highway and Traffic Safety Association, shared their congratulations and thanked Leanna for not only all the work she has done to save lives in Missouri, but throughout the country.

Leanna holds a Ph.D. from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale and was recognized as a Distinguished Alumni for the College of Health and Human Services in 2000.

She has devoted over 20 years of her career to saving lives on Missouri roads, first with her career as Director of the Missouri Safety Center at the University of Central Missouri, then as Director of Highway Safety with MoDOT.

She is recognized at the national level as a leader in the area of traffic safety, and 10 years ago, shared her vision for a statewide organized effort, now known as the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety. With her leadership in the Coalition, Missouri’s fatalities have been reduced by 40 percent in 10 years.

Statewide Highway Safety Award Winners Announced
Four highway safety statewide award winners and 14 regional award winners received recognition at the 2014 Blueprint for Safer Roadways Conference held in St. Louis last week. Six organizations and individuals also received outstanding partner awards. The conference was sponsored by the Missouri Coalition of Roadway Safety, whose goal is to reduce fatalities and disabling injuries on Missouri roads.

“We appreciate the efforts of all who are involved to encourage safe driving, and we will continue to work towards the ultimate goal of losing zero lives on Missouri roads,” said Leanna Depue, Ph.D., director of highway safety for the Missouri Department of Transportation.

The statewide Arrive Alive Award was presented to One Curve at a Time, a nonprofit organization made up of concerned citizens who are dedicated to building awareness and making changes to dangerous roads and curves where vehicle crashes occur. The organization was founded by the family of Kaela Marie Acrchambault, who was 20 years old when she died in a traffic crash along Highway FF in Jefferson County. The award recognizes an individual or group who has shown exemplary dedication and leadership in highway safety. It is the highest award given by the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety.

logoThe statewide Tempe Humphrey Award was presented to ThinkFirst of Greater Kansas City/The Research Foundation. This award recognizes an individual or group who has made a significant impact in the area of youth or teen safety. It was named for a former Division of Highway Safety employee who created and implemented the statewide Team Spirit program to engage high school students in the process of safe driving. Tempe was killed in 2006 in a motorcycle crash. ThinkFirst of Greater Kansas City is committed to educating young people about the importance of safe driving by offering three distinct programs: school assemblies, the Youth Traffic Offenders program and RoadWise. Among 145 chapters nationwide, the KC Chapter of ThinkFirst ranks number one in the number of youth reach each year.

The statewide Lay Down the Law Award was presented to Sgt. Brent Bernhardt, public information officer for Troop B of the Missouri State Highway Patrol. This award recognizes an individual or group who has substantially advanced highway safety in Missouri. Sgt. Bernhardt has dedicated 24 years to serving Missouri travelers. He has spent countless hours, evenings and weekends presenting a variety of safety programs to audiences of all ages. His passion and determined approach for the safety of the traveling public comes across in every presentation. Working crashes has given him firsthand experience to relate to the audience the difference a seat belt can make, as well as the dangers of distracted and impaired driving.

The statewide Show-Me Safety Award was presented to three organizations, TrailNet, MoDOT and Metro of St. Louis, for their collaboration of “Safe Roads for All,” a safety campaign to build awareness regarding bicyclist, pedestrian and motorist safety. For the past three years, the three organizations have partnered to lead a safety drive, a large bicycle ride and a walking group to MetroLink from Forest Park to the St. Louis Downtown Bicycle Station to represent the importance of sharing the road.

The MO Coalition for Roadway Safety oversees seven regions, who work closely with communities to identify opportunities to reduce fatalities and disabling injuries on Missouri roads. Each region selected an Arrive Alive Award recipient and a Show-Me Safety Award recipient.

The Coalition is led by an executive committee who recognized the following organizations and individuals as outstanding partners: City of St. John and Hardy Menees of Menees, Whitney, Burnet and Trog for their primary safety belt ordinance legal defense; Kurt Larson for the Missouri Safe and Sober Program; Joe Machens Ford, ThinkFirst Missouri and KRCG 13 for their support of the “Focus on the Road” campaign.

The Blueprint Conference is held every two years and led by several active members of the Coalition. More information about the Coalition can be found online at Photos of award winners will soon be posted here.
Assistant Maintenance Supervisor Positions Help Complex Situations
Changes in leadership are coming to some maintenance buildings across the state. Assistant maintenance supervisor positions are being added to 26 buildings to help maintenance supervisors provide more guidance and support in complex maintenance areas and to continue to provide a high level of customer service.

“In the past three years, districts have tried to shift and adjust responsibilities,” said State Maintenance Engineer Beth Wright. “However every district has identified limited locations in which a change is necessary to close the gap in maintenance leadership.”

A team comprised of members from Central Office and all districts was assembled to discuss various improvements to our winter operations. The team identified there was a need to provide additional supervision to better support and develop our full-time and temporary maintenance employees, and our non-maintenance snow fighters. The position also helps support our 24/7 operations at some locations.

Assistant maintenance supervisors will be located at complex buildings, like buildings with higher customer service call requests, higher rotation of seasonal employees and additional snow fighters, incarcerated crews, more routine night time operations, higher employee turnover, bridge operations, striping operations, drainage work and buildings with high employee to supervisor ratios. This new position does not change the overall numbers in Maintenance.

Both urban and rural maintenance buildings are experiencing a need for additional leadership throughout the state. While we are not adding any additional maintenance positions, we will shift a maintenance crew leader position to an assistant maintenance supervisor position in 26 facilities throughout the state. Each district has determined the facilities at which these assistant maintenance supervisor positions will be placed.

Districts will advertise and fill their positions prior to snow season 2014.

EAC Blurb

Simplifying the Safety Message
safety collageMoDOT was represented again this year at the annual business meeting of the North American Association of Transportation Safety and Health Officials (NAATSHO).

Shari Dye, safety and health manager for the Northeast District, presented information on how MoDOT is expanding our direction to simplify safety messages for employees. Two of the topics she discussed were the Back 2 Basics videos and Choose One safety posters.

This presentation was a follow-up to last year’s contribution to the conference by Shari and Chris Engelbrecht, safety and health manager for the Central District. They discussed how MoDOT’s Gear Up program, built around our five safety messages, was developed to simplify employee training. They also shared how the comprehensive safety site was developed.

Safety and Claims Manager Steve Patterson also attended this year’s conference, which held in Scottsdale, Arizona.

New Safety Tools Help Start a Conversation

safety posterChoose One

The newest Choose One safety posters will be delivered to all facilities within the next couple of weeks.  The latest posters focus on the importance of calling 1-800-DIG-RITE and wearing the proper safety footwear. 


To save resources, these posters will be printed back to back. We are asking the building supervisors to use the DIG-RITE side of the poster first, since fall is a time when operations that call for digging are often part of the job. Then in December, to flip the poster over to the safety footwear side to focus on the importance of wearing the proper safety footwear to prevent injuries.


The district and division health and safety mangers will be distributing the posters soon. The posters are a good tool to use during morning safety discussions to start a conversation about safety procedures and personal protection equipment.


All of the Choose One and PPE posters have now been added to the comprehensive safety website. Over the next few weeks earlier safety posters that are still relevant, such as the 3-Point Contact poster, will also be added to the site (safety posters link).

The most recent Back 2 Basics safety video features chemical weed control safety.

Back 2 Basics

The most recent Back 2 Basics video on chemical weed control is posted on the comprehensive safety website (safety video link). The video focuses on several specific steps in the chemical weed control process that can become problematic if the appropriate personal protection equipment is not worn, and safety practices for handling chemicals are not followed. 


Supervisors are asked to show the video during morning safety discussions when crews will be using chemicals to spray weeds.

Upcoming video topics include:

  • preventative maintenance on vehicles and equipment (focused on prepping for winter operations)
  • slips, trips and falls
  • snow removal safety

It is important to remember that these videos do not include every safety step in an operation, but are designed to help start a conversation about all of the safety actions to be taken on the job.

Fatality Update
What's Happening
LogoMissouri Consolidated Health Care Plan
To serve its members, MCHCP will now offer two Open Enrollment meeting types: Express and Regular. Pre-recorded webinars will also be available on their website. This information is relevant for those who participate in the dental or vision plans offered through MCHCP, but it is not related to MoDOT's health care plan.

Click here for full details – PDF LINK

Note to MoDOT Employees: This document is only for employees who are members of the MOSERS retirement system and MCHCP Medical Plan. It does not include the MPERS retirement system or the MoDOT/MSHP Medical Plan.

EdChat With The Chief
Remember to check out Chief Engineer Ed Hassinger’s blog post. This week he talks about employee fall meetings - Chat with the Chief.

Challenge100 Mile Challenge Update

The St. Louis District is still in the lead with 18,847 miles. The Northwest District is also doing very well averaging 323 miles per person.

From our last check in, as a whole we have gained over 17,000 miles.

If you have not signed up yet it is not too late, you can always register.
You have until Dec. 31 to log your miles.

1. Visit and create an account on any computer or device
2. Select the Groups tab at the top of the page
3.Under Find a Group select workplace
4. Enter “MoDOT” as the Keyword
5. Select your District or the Central Office team
6. Join the group and get active, then log your miles back on the website.

October Service Anniversaries
30 Years
Andrew J. Smith - NW
Richard M. Hencinski - SL
Richard J. Herminghaus - SL
Angela S. Bonnot - CO
Darryl E. Grothoff – CO

25 Years
Mark Lee Corbin - NW
William W. Lacey - SE
Kim R. Reid - CO
Charlene Marie Holdt - CO
Harry Frederick Gilmore - CO

20 Years
William J. Mallett - NE
Lonny P. Roberts - NE
Matthew Willing - NE
Linley J. Lipper - NE
Kenton D. Bohon - CD
Tamara Sue Gregory - CD
Julie Ann Haden-Stiles - SW
Michael Shannon Smith – CO

15 Years
David Jon Earls - NW
Roger Dean Curl - NW
Philip E. Giffin - KC
Delmar S. Cowherd - KC
Wayne Jay Goyea - SL
William L. Long - SW
Randy J. Vest - SW
Bartholomew C. Novinger - SW
Jan Annette Rowland - SW
Douglas Krister Sandgren - SW
Brent L. Campbell - SE
Kelly R. Niekamp - CO
Julie R. Lamberson - CO
James Robert Allison - CO

10 Years
Patrick K. Kelly - NW
Steve Ray Windle - KC
Jeffrey L. Bathgate - KC
Jeffrey Todd Still - KC
John Daniel Adams - KC
Christopher A. Kelly - SL
Chad D. Engemann - SL
Joseph L. Boyer - SL
Sandra J. Taurone - SE
Billy Gene Aycock - SE
Laura Kay Alderson - CO
Janet Katherine Graham - CO
Lori Lynn Greer - CO

5 Years
Burt James Miller - NE
Easaw Thomas - KC
Christopher E. Gerke - KC
Alfred Vernon Mullins - CD
Mike R. Fogg - SL
Michael Rashaun Moore - SL
Virginia L. Lindquist - SW
Brandon Eugene Byrd - SE
Andrew Joseph Grimm - CO


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