August 27, 2015

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Northwest District
Northwest District Day at the State Fair

Six enthusiastic Northwest District employees manned displays inside the Highway Gardens at the Missouri State Fair on its opening day this year. Thanks go to (L-R in photo below): Chillicothe Intermediate Maintenance Worker Ray Peel, Senior Financial Services Specialist Judy Magruder, Senior Traffic Studies Specialist Joseph Turner, Risk Management Technician Danielle Lankford, Senior Equipment Technician Bryant Nelson, and Transportation Project Designer Russ O'Daniell. Thank you for representing the Northwest District and MoDOT at the Fair!

Employees who worked the Missouri State Fair
Melissa Schmitz at the State Fair
Outdoor Advertising Specialist Melissa Schmitz looks natural behind the wheel of a yellow MoDOT truck at the Highway Gardens at the Missouri State Fair.
Melissa Schmitz and her daughter posing with Barrel Bob
Outdoor Advertising Specialist Melissa Schmitz and her daughter Cecelia posed with Barrel Bob and Baby Bob while visiting the Highway Gardens at this year's Missouri State Fair.
Tonya Lohman                        Jennifer Sardigal

Area Engineer Tonya Lohman (left) and Intermediate Construction Inspector Jennifer Sardigal (right) recently participated in the #ILookLikeAnEngineer social media campaign representing MoDOT and the Northwest District. The images above were shared on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

The social media campaign began when a software engineer appeared in a recruiting ad for her company. The online responses to her participation in the campaign questioned whether she actually worked for her company as an engineer because she didn't seem to fit the pre-conceived image of what an engineer would look like - at least to the online responders.

That software engineer, Isis Wenger, posted an image of herself holding up a piece of paper similar to the ones Lohman and Sardigal are holding in the above photo in an effort to combat the stereotypes and empower women in engineering. The hashtag #ILookLikeAnEngineer and it's off-shoot #IAmAnEngineer began trending throughout social media platforms almost immediately.

In The Field

Engineers from several different areas met at the corner of U.S. Route 169 and Route YY in St. Joseph this past week for an extensive field check. The intersection, commonly known as Belt and Mitchell, will receive surface, sidewalk and Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) improvements with Fiscal Year 2016 monies. The project is scheduled for a March 2016 letting. The intersection is in the middle of an extensive retail corridor but also has some residential properties within its boundaries. These driveways and entrances, as well as existing retaining walls, roadway lighting, existing utilities, traffic control devices and many other aspects of the landscape, must be taken into account. Seeing the location in person allows the various engineers involved to discuss and proactively design for both the obstacles and opportunities of the project.

Participating in the field check were Area Engineer Mike Rinehart, Utilities Engineer Adam Watson, Transportation Project Manager Wes Moore, Senior Highway Designer Steve Frank, Transportation Project Designer Greg Anderson, Right of Way Manager Bryan Bailey, Resident Engineer Greg Stervinou and Traffic Operations Engineer José Rodriguez.

Belt and Mitchell Intersection
The intersection of U.S. Route 169 (Belt Highway) and Route YY (Mitchell Avenue) in St. Joseph has an average daily traffic count of approximately 20,000 cars and serves a large retail corridor.
Engineers gather to discuss intersection improvements
Engineers from several departments met at the site of the upcoming project to discuss various design elements.
Surface Deterioration
The intersection has seen significant deterioration and will receive surface improvements as part of the project.
Engineers discuss intersection and ADA improvements
Several commercial and residential driveways are within the project limits and each presents unique challenges which are often best understood during a field check.
Uneven sloping sidewalks
It may be difficult to see in the photo, but the engineers in the foreground are standing on a lower sidewalk than the engineers in the background. Sloping sidewalks and existing parking lots have required a variety of different approaches to bring the sidewalks up to current ADA standards.
Crosswalk deterioration
The current pedestrian walkways are also deteriorating. The project includes both pedestrian crossing and sidewalk improvements.

For more info

Marcia Johnson
Communications Specialist
Northwest District

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