JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri Department of Transportation earned $1 million in federal funding to build new truck parking spaces on the Interstate 70 corridor.
By making it easier for professional drivers to find spots to rest, MoDOT expects to reduce crashes caused by driver fatigue.
For the safety of all travelers - including the truck drivers themselves, there are limits to the length of time a driver can be on the road and a minimum amount of time they must rest. The rules are intended to reduce driver fatigue. Based on the deep reduction in fatal crashes involving commercial motor vehicles - between 2004 and 2010, the number of these crashes fell 39 percent - the rules appear to be working.
"I-70 is an important freight corridor. It not only carries trucks, it connects to cities with large rail and river ports. It links with five other interstates as well," said Jan Skouby, MoDOT Motor Carrier Services director. "This grant will help us maintain highway safety as the number of trucks on the interstate grows."
In the past several years, Missouri has doubled the number of truck parking places it offers along interstates, but given reports that forecast a doubling in the number of commercial vehicles on Interstate 70 by 2030, MoDOT must continue to add parking spaces. The department applied for and was awarded the Federal Highway Administration grant to achieve that purpose.
"We will work with freight-hauling customers to locate additional parking where it is most needed," said Skouby. "Where a driver stops to rest has a definite effect on the ability to deliver or pick up loads on time. Having safe, sufficient, properly located parking can affect the prices we pay at the store."
Work to identify areas for additional truck parking is under way, with construction slated to begin in late 2012.