With a newly repaired or replaced state bridge opening every 2.5 days, the Missouri Department of Transportation thinks it's cause to celebrate. So MoDOT is offering visitors to the Missouri State Fair a chance to be a part of the historic progress taking place. Fairgoers will be invited to sign their names to a 30-foot bridge beam that will later become part of the support for a new bridge on Route U over Spring Fork Creek in Pettis County.
The beam, about as long as a stretch limo, is four feet wide, almost two feet thick and weighs more than 10 tons. It will bear the slogan "Missouri Loves New Bridges." A steel beam from a demolished bridge will also be on display to show the contrast between the old bridges and the modern structures taking their place.
The bridge beam is just one of many displays MoDOT will have at the fair, which runs Aug. 12-22 in Sedalia. It will be located in the fair's Highway Gardens area, one of the most popular spots on the fairgrounds.
"Our continued presence at the Missouri State Fair is a great way for us to connect face-to-face with thousands of the Missourians we serve," said Don Hillis, System Management director. "It's a great opportunity to inform people about our efforts to make Missouri roads and bridges safer and less congested."
One of the messages MoDOT will stress at the fair is the importance of litter prevention and keeping Missouri's roadways clean of trash and debris. The annual No MOre Trash! Day is scheduled for Aug. 13, with special activities that include an appearance by Buttons the Clown, trash can painting, games, snacks and a puppet show. Adopt-A-Highway and Sponsor-A-Highway tables will be set-up for those interested in signing up to clean Missouri highways.
The Transportation Exposition Center will be fully loaded with interactive displays featuring games, contests and giveaways. Kids can participate in a scavenger hunt for a chance to win a bike donated by Cecil's Cyclery of Sedalia.
There will also be displays on texting and driving and the benefits of airbags, and a seat belt convincer will convince riders to buckle up. Visitors can have their photo taken with Barrel Bob, a piece of art that has become an icon in the Kansas City area, as well as with a cutout of a MoDOT dump truck.
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