May 7, 2015

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Showcase Winners Come From Every District

For the first time in eight years, each and every district had at least one statewide winner at the Innovations Challenge Showcase. The 12 showcase winners were part of 57 employee innovations on display at the showcase April 28 in Springfield. The Southeast District led all areas with a total of three showcase winners including the People’s Choice Award and the very first Director’s Safety Award.

innovation video
Click above to watch a video of this year's Innovations Challenge Showcase.

The road to the showcase floor started last fall with eight separate competitions across the state. A total of 117 first-round winners were then evaluated by statewide teams to choose the best of the best for the showcase. Teams of judges for each category received a preview of the innovation exhibits on April 27. Judges rated the innovations on originality, transferability, conservation of resources and organizational impact. The overall results were announced at the awards luncheon following a morning showcase that served as the opening event for the annual maintenance and program delivery meeting.

Interim Director Roberta Broeker said she attempted to “channel former Director Dave Nichols” in her selection for the first Director’s Safety Award. “I knew Dave would have chosen something that had the broadest impact on keeping our employees and the public safe,” said Broeker. “I think the Material Load Indicator will keep our employees from climbing to check cinder beds and help clear roads faster for our customers.”

Chief Engineer Ed Hassinger, who emceed the awards luncheon, said the event continues to wow him each year. “I never cease to be amazed,” said Hassinger, “at the talent and creativity our employees bring to the table. I had to judge a category this year, and they made it tough on me.” Hassinger challenged employees in all areas of the organization to put the innovations to work. “If we don’t do that, we haven’t really gained anything.”

Here are the statewide winners from both challenges:

material load indicator
The Material Load Indicator,  submitted by the Southeast District, won the very first Director's Safety Award Traveling Trophy.

Director’s Safety Award

  • Material Load Indicator (Southeast District) –Traveling Trophy

People’s Choice Award

  • GPS Roadside Obstacle Marker (Southeast District) – Traveling Trophy

Tool & Equipment Statewide Winners

  • GPS Roadside Obstacle Marker (Southeast District) – Individual Cash Awards plus a $10,000 budget transfer
  • Wing Plow Strobes (St. Louis District) – Individual Cash Awards plus a $10,000 budget transfer
  • Material Loader (Southeast District)         – Individual Cash Awards
  • Sign Base Cleaner (Kansas City District) – Individual Cash Awards

Productivity Statewide Winners

  • Hover Trimmer (Central District) – Individual Cash Awards plus a $10,000 budget transfer
  • LED Snow Plow Lights (Northwest) – Individual Cash Awards plus a $10,000 budget transfer
  • Multi-Use Snow Removal Truck (Southeast District) – Individual Cash Awards
  • Tow Plow Camera (Southwest District) – Individual Cash Awards

Projects Statewide Winners

  • Median Barrier Wall Modification (Northeast District) – Individual Cash Awards plus a $10,000 budget transfer
  • Adjustable Guardrail (Southwest District) – Individual Cash Awards plus a $10,000 budget transfer
  • Striped Roundabout (Central District) – Individual Cash Awards
  • KC News Network (Kansas City District) – Individual Cash Awards

More information on the showcase winners is available on SharePoint at: Innovations Showcase.

See all Showcase Challenge photos on flicker -


Commission Summary

MHTC Recognizes State Maintenance

Engineer Beth Wright’s MoDOT Career

At its May meeting, the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission recognized the 30 year career of State Maintenance Engineer Beth Wright, who is retiring effective June 1. Wright began her distinguished career with the Missouri Department of Transportation on February 1, 1985.

Beth Wright
State Maintenance Engineer Beth Wright was honored by the Commission for her 30 year career with MoDOT. Wright is retiring June 1. Photo by Cathy Morrison.
Wright has served in a variety of capacities in three districts and three divisions including the former Districts Four (Kansas City), Seven (Joplin), and One (St. Joseph) and the divisions of Construction and Materials, Traffic and Maintenance moving through increasingly responsible assignments culminating her career with MoDOT as State Maintenance Engineer.

Wright is known for valuing and encouraging employees to plan and prepare for incidents and emergencies. For example, while serving as Kansas City District Engineer, she led district staff in responding to a pavement collapse at Three Trails Crossing in the summer of 2010. After considerable rain, soil underneath the highway gave way and created a large gap where the ramp that links westbound I-470 and northbound US 71 to westbound I-435 impacting traffic in the Kansas City region.

A resolution presented to her on behalf of the commission summed up her career with this thought, “Throughout her career, Beth Wright served admirably, diligently, tirelessly, and collaboratively on behalf of the Department of Transportation and the State of Missouri, as evidenced by her ability to establish and maintain excellent relations with organizations in Missouri for the betterment of Missouri’s transportation system.”
State Transportation Program Focuses on Fewer Projects, Taking Care of Missouri's Roads and Bridges

Missouri’s investment in its roads and bridges continues to shrink, and that means fewer projects to keep them in good condition.

On May 6, MoDOT released its draft Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) for public review and comment. The STIP lists all transportation projects planned by state and regional agencies for a five-year period.

stip cover“This year, the draft STIP demonstrates the commitment MoDOT has made to projects that focus on primary routes and taking care of the existing highway system,” said MoDOT Interim Director Roberta Broeker. “As the construction budget gets smaller each year, projects in the STIP must reflect only the most essential transportation needs.”

The total number of projects in the STIP’s five-year highway and bridge construction schedule is 574. That’s a decrease of about 250 projects compared to last year’s final STIP. The change comes as a result of a construction budget that drops from $596 million in 2016 to $325 million in 2017 and beyond.

Several years ago, the STIP contained over $1 billion of road and bridge construction projects each year, generating jobs, boosting the economy and expanding the safe and efficient movement of people and goods across the state and the country. With diminishing fuel tax revenues and the ever-increasing cost of materials, that scenario is now out of reach.

“Despite the progress of the last 10 years, 2017 will bring the funding shortfall MoDOT has predicted for years,” said Broeker. “The ramifications of that shortfall will extend to every region of the state and the impact will be significant in terms of safety and economic growth.”

The draft 2016-2020 Statewide Transportation Improvement Program lists transportation projects planned by state and regional planning agencies for fiscal years 2016 through 2020 (July 1, 2015 through June 30, 2020). The proposed program is available for public review starting May 6, 2015. Those interested in seeing the program may review it online at or at MoDOT district and regional offices throughout the state. Comments on the program can be submitted by mail, email or by calling MoDOT’s customer service center at 1-888-ASK-MoDOT (888-275-6636). The formal comment period ends June 5, 2015.

Following the public review period, the comments will be summarized and presented to the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission to consider before acting on the final transportation program in July.

Team Talk -
SharePoint Standardization Update

Deficient, Congested Roadways Costs a Total Of $4.5 Billion Statewide

Roads and bridges that are deficient, congested or lack desirable safety features cost Missouri motorists a total of $4.5 billion statewide annually due to higher vehicle operating costs, traffic crashes and congestion-related delays. Increased investment in transportation improvements at the local, state and federal levels could relieve traffic congestion, improve road and bridge conditions, boost safety, and support long-term economic growth in Missouri, according to a new report released today by TRIP, a Washington, DC based national transportation organization.

trip reportThe TRIP report, "Missouri Transportation by the Numbers: Meeting the State's Need for Safe and Efficient Mobility," finds that throughout Missouri, 22 percent of major locally and state-maintained roads are in poor condition. Twenty-three percent of Missouri's bridges are structurally deficient or functionally obsolete. The state's major urban roads are becoming increasingly congested, with drivers wasting significant amounts of time and fuel each year. And, more than 4,000 people were killed in crashes on the state's roads in the last five years.

Driving on deficient roads comes with a cost to all Missourians in the form of extra vehicle operating costs (VOC) as a result of driving on roads in need of repair, lost time and fuel due to congestion-related delays, and the cost of traffic crashes in which roadway features likely were a contributing factor. The TRIP report calculated the cost to motorists of insufficient roads in Jefferson City, Kansas City, Springfield and St. Louis. A breakdown of the costs per motorist in each area along with a statewide total is below.


2015 DOMInno Conference
Despite significant funding challenges, MoDOT will continue to maintain Missouri’s highway system, deliver high quality projects on time and on budget and innovate new designs, processes and procedures.

Those are some of the messages heard by approximately 500 MoDOT employees attending the 2015 statewide DOMInno meeting in Springfield April 28-30.

The annual meeting is a time to get updates from MoDOT’s various divisions and learn about the latest trends and innovations.

Click above to watch a short video of just a few of the comments made by Interim Director Roberta Broeker and Chief Engineer Ed Hassinger.

After the innovations challenge, the Dominno meeting began with comments from the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission and MoDOT’s executive team. Commissioner Mike Pace talked about how impressed he was with the department and the commitment of employees to do excellent work. Roberta Broeker talked about funding and discussed her plan for serving as interim director of the department. Chief Engineer Ed Hassinger and Assistant Chief Engineer Kathy Harvey talked about the department’s direction and all answered questions from the audience.

State Design Engineer Eric Schroeter addresses attendees during one of the general sessions.

During one of the general sessions, State Design Engineer Eric Schroeter and Environmental and Historic Preservation Manager Gayle Unruh talked about a recent agreement between MoDOT and the Environmental Protection Agency to establish new processes to improve erosion control oversight.

A great deal of attention lately has been given to MoDOT’s funding situation. While the Missouri General Assembly looks for ways to shore up state funding, Congress is addressing transportation finances at the federal level.

Kevin Ward, Missouri Division Administrator for the Federal Highway Administration, talked about the Obama Administration’s Grow America Act – a six year, $478 billion funding bill for surface transportation.

“Investing in transportation isn’t a cost,” Ward said, “it’s an investment just like for your retirement.”

Missouri would get $923 million under the Grow America Act. Ward said that would be a 22 percent increase for the state. However, he expects there to be another short-term continuing resolution to fund the Transportation Department at the end of May before any decision is made in Congress on the president’s proposal.

State Construction and Materials Engineer Dave Ahlvers talked about the state’s philosophy on innovation. He said MoDOT is known for being willing to innovate.

State Constructioin and Materials Engineer Dave Ahlvers talked about the state's philosophy on innovation.

“Seeking out new ideas and being willing to implement them is a big deal,” Ahlvers said. But, he added, that has to happen in cooperation with MoDOT’s contractor partners. “It’s a lot easier to try things without talking to contractors, but it’s important to take that step,” he said.

Scott Stottlemeyer, Assistant State Bridge Engineer, outlined recent initiatives including moving information to SharePoint and the recent rollout of an online map where people can find unplanned bridge closures and restrictions.

Break-out sessions included topics like LED pavement markers, Jarraff tree trimming operations and wrong way driving countermeasures among others.

The meeting wrapped up Thursday, April 30 with a motivational message from author and speaker Dr. Alan Zimmerman, titled “Doing More with Less.”

He focused on attitude saying, “If you talk to yourself negatively, you can’t expect to have a positive attitude.”

“You perform,” said Zimmerman, “exactly as you see yourself.

Spring Highway Safety Campaigns

motorcycle awarenessMay is Motorcycle Awareness.
Campaign aims to increase motorcycle safety awareness for all road users.
It's springtime in Missouri and everyone wants to be outdoors, and motorcyclists everywhere are eager to hit the road. Riders will be polishing that chrome and tuning those engines for weekend rides, rallies and runs. The Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety wants to remind motorists and motorcyclists alike to "Watch for Motorcycles" in order to help prevent motorcycle crashes, deaths and injuries on Missouri's roadways.

"Motorcyclists have the same rights and privileges as any other drivers on the roadway," said Bill Whitfield, executive committee chair of the coalition. "However, drivers of cars and trucks often don't see motorcycles until the last second, or sometimes not at all."

In 2014, 87 motorcyclists were killed in traffic crashes on Missouri roadways. By following a few basic safety rules, we can all help prevent crashes. Read More.

youth alcoholOne Moment Can Define You.
Youth alcohol campaign encourages smart choices.

Today's youth are full of hopes and dreams for their futures. Many have plans to be tomorrow's musicians, writers and athletes. However, one bad choice of getting behind the wheel after drinking could make them a killer. Their lives and the lives of others would be changed forever.

In the last three years, there were 54 fatal crashes and 174 disabling injury crashes involving an impaired driver under the age of 21. As a result of a young person making the wrong choice, 64 people died and 257 were seriously injured in these crashes.

Law enforcement will be on the lookout for underage impaired driving May 1-12 with a high visibility enforcement campaign. Timing of the campaign will coincide with statewide prom and graduation dates, which are often when teens and young adults consume alcohol.

Missouri has a Zero Tolerance Law. If you are under 21, your license will be suspended if you're caught driving with even a trace of alcohol in your system. Consequences of drunk driving include jail time, the loss of driver licenses, or being sentenced to use ignition interlocks. Other financial hits include higher insurance rates, attorney fees, and court costs. In the worst cases, the underage driver becomes a killer.

fatality graphic
What's Happening

logoEmail Retention Policy
Phase I, the implementation of the retention policy for the Deleted Items folder in Outlook has been completed and the Information System Division is gearing up for Phase II.

Phase II will be implementing the three year retention policy for the rest of employee email folders and calendar entries. When implemented, all emails and calendar entries older than three years will be deleted from your mailbox. Recurring meetings will be deleted after the last meeting in the series is older than three years. The retention policy will display the date the email expires on emails less than three year old. Information Systems plans to start implementing Phase II in a few weeks.

All emails are viewable in the SourceOne archive system. Employees can access the SourceOne archive system and Online Help from the MoDOT E-Mail portal on the MoDOT SharePoint Home page.

silver dollar cityEmployee Appreciation Week Discounts

In appreciation of state employees, Silver Dollar City is pleased to offer state employees discounted passes to Silver Dollar City and Silver Dollar City attractions.

As a state of Missouri employee, you are able to save 20 percent on tickets to Silver Dollar City, Showboat Branson Belle and White Water with your unique promo code.

Just click on, then enter Promo Code 25372 to receive your discount!

NOTE: the 20 percent discount code applies to single day passes only, not to season passes.

TrackerFirst Quarter Tracker Available
The April 2015 MoDOT Tracker and Supplement are available to review at - http://sharepoint/Tracker/SitePages/TrackerResources.aspx.

The Tracker, Supplement and Radical Cost Control for Projects Focal Point will be discussed at the statewide meeting May 19.

AASHTOCentennial Commemorative Book on Transportation Available for Purchase
On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the founding of the American Association of Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), this book captures the essence of America's transportation history since 1914. It provides snapshots, milestones, stories, and photographs that catalogue the events, advancements, decisions, people, and partnerships that shaped and influenced this century of transportation achievement. It is a pretty amazing story.

Visit the website for details on purchasing ($26 non-members or $20 for members) - Commemorative Book.

library logoFree Training Available
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!

Sessions are scheduled for May and June. Click here for more informaiton - Free Training.

Earth DayEarth Day at the Capitol
Last month MoDOT joined the Missouri Department of Natural Resources for the Earth Day event at the Capitol, promoting litter prevention through our Adopt-A-Highway Program, stormwater pollution prevention, and promoting the use of use wildflowers and native grasses. MoDOT volunteers even helped the DNR hand out seedlings.

See all the photos on flickr - Earth Day.

May Service Anniversaries
35 Years
Jacqueline R. Bordeleau - NE

30 Years
Gregory J. Price - NE
Britt S. McClain - NE
John William Brendel - SL
Steven G. Bauman - SL
James Robert Gremaud - SL
Mark A. McCoy - SW
Keith R. Gilmore - SW
Pamela G. Griffin - SE
Barry Dean Horst - SE
Marvin L. Gillespie - SE
Lindell G. Huskey - SE
Leonard Alan Vader - CO

25 Years
Mark E. Silkwood - NW
Kevin Brian Lytton - NW
Jason R. Basham - CD
Rockey L. Garner - SW
Joe Henry Jones - SE
Darrell S. Knierim - CO

20 Years
Robert D. Valentine - NW
Michael Lee Bozarth - NW
Anthony Eugene Lager - NW
David L. Shahan - NW
Darrin E. Harvey - NW
Barry L. Booth - NW
John S. Buck - NE
Neal T. Ross - NE
Teresa May Newland - NE
Shawn G. Morgan - NE
Cheryl M. Grimes - KC
Richard Scott Kingery - KC

20 Years Continued

Roy D. Kempker - CD
Stephen Andrew Linhart - CD
Kirsten Ann Munck - CD
Donna M. Fissell - SL
Michael Paul Abernathy - SL
Matthew Ilgenfritz - SW
Charles W. Curtis - SW
Mark S. Hancock - SW
Thomas W. Moore - SE
Audie A. Pulliam - SE
Travis A. Pearson - SE
Scott D. Ward - CO
Stephen A. Meystrik - CO
Michael Neil Baker - CO

15 Years
Derrick John Gott - NW
Johnny Ray Gunnels - NE
Lonnie R. Shields - NE
Martin Lee Rinne - KC
Michael J. Arnett - KC
Timothy M. Oligschlaeger - CD
Cary D. Simcoe - CD
Scott L. Snelling - CD
Allen Joseph Wankum - CD
Jack Charles Kratky - SL
Roy A. Shoemaker - SL
Roy A. Crites - SL
David Michael Brunjes - SL
James R. McGinnis - SW
Joyce Elizabeth Shaw - SW
Jason M. Worley - SW
Joshua T. Burks - SW

Darrell R. Cook - SW
Elgin D. Bogan - SE
Christopher J. Marler - SE
Jamie L. Qualls - SE

15 Years Continued
Timothy Ray Crader - SE
Jason Lee Estes - SE
Jason A. Ferguson - SE
Michael R. Schwendemann - SE
Patrick L. Robinson - CO
Amy Beth Blankenship - CO
Kathy M. Murphy - CO
Kelly Marie Mauzy - CO

10 Years
Lynn M. Anderson - NW
Jason A. Giesken - NW
Joshua D. Waelder - NE
Monte Wade Tinnon - SE
Brandi J. Baldwin - NE
Marc William Hohe - KC
Brian Russ Burger - KC
John Roy Reeves - CD
Janet Ellen Zuroweste - CD
Cindy Leigh Kremer - CD
Michael D. Parker - SL
Gerald C. Lyston - SL
Dustin W. Crain - SW
Ryan Paul Ward-Melton - SW
Aaron L. Underwood - SW
Travis Lynn Peterson -SW
James A. Wilson - SW
Donald Gene Treat - SE
Bree Kathleen McMurray - CO
Kyle Edward Grayson - CO
Jeannie M. Hoff - CO
Kendra McLelland - CO

5 Years
Robert M. Gaiser - KC
Scotty K. Clark - SL
Aaron Wade Pemberton - SL

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